Early in the history of agriculture, farmers would generally divide their land into two halves. One half would be sown with crops, the other half of the property would remain uncultivated, or fallow. This pattern would alternate, giving the land a year to rest. Even Scripture provided for a soil rest, “But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still…in like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.” As agriculture boomed, and more tools and chemicals became available to farmers, the practice of soil fallowing, in many cases, has been set aside.
The prophets Jeremiah and Hosea were burdened with the task of encouraging the children of God to return to Him, to “break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” Land was allowed to lie fallow so that it might become more productive, more fruitful. But when the soil lies in the fallow condition too long, it can soon become overgrown with thorns and weeds. The farmer, that master of cultivating, must be careful to break up that fallow soil to rid it of weeds, to clear it of thorns before sowing his precious seed. That rich soil that once produced a bountiful harvest now lies waste, is overrun with weeds, but it can be productive again, but only after it has been plowed, broken up, and those weeds removed.
Israel’s past was glorious, the parting of the Red Sea, manna in the wilderness, water from a rock, but Hosea reminds them that they had lost that fruitfulness that was once theirs. “Israel is an empty vine…” they have “plowed wickedness” and “reaped iniquity;” their “heart was exalted,” and they have forgotten their God, the ground was fallow. But the nation’s current sad condition was not without remedy, they needed to turn their soil with the plow of God’s Word. They were exhorted to “return to the LORD,” to confess their sin, asking God to “take away all iniquity,” and to accept the love of a God Who would “love them freely.”
There are times in my life that I need to plow up my fallow ground, times when my productivity for the King has waned, when the burning flame of love and praise needs rekindled, when fellowship with my Father has inadvertently slipped from my priorities. At those times I need the mirror of God’s Word and the convicting plow of the Holy Spirit to turn up that fruitless soil, to remove the weeds of sin and apathy, and to make my soil productive once more. How’s your soil today? Are you lying fallow, or are you producing precious fruit for the Savior?
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
Lord, help me not to be fallow ground. Allow the light of Your Word to rekindle the flame of enthusiasm and devotion in my soul once again. Help me to produce precious fruit for You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2065-62bc0016f0584' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2065&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2065-62bc0016f0584' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2065-62bc0016f0584' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>