Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dealing with Hard Soil

“For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” (Jeremiah 4:3 ESV)

“The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then the Devil comes and steals it away and prevents them from believing and being saved.” (Luke 8:12 NLT)

“The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.” (Luke 8:14 NLT)

Jesus tells the parable of the sower from the perspective of the soils. It goes to the response of each individual heart to the word of God when it is sown. Jeremiah speaks more to the preparation of the soil so that the word can be sown. In Jeremiah, God commands that the hard soil (fallow ground) be plowed and broken up so that seed can be received. It also gives a warning against sowing where there are already thorns. Applying that second part to Jesus' parable might mean to not continue to sow seeds in a person struggling with the cares and pleasures of this life. Better to challenge that person on the areas that are choking the life out of the already sown seed than to continue to sow more seed.

The comparison of Jeremiah with the parable of the soils, helps me to see that I do not need to accept the state of soil in a persons heart as permanent. Things can change and as I bear faithful witness to Christ and sow His word, I can also work to plow up the hard soil and help remove the thorn bushes.

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