Summary: The need to make sure our hearts are not hardened to the righteousness of God
‘ Breaking Up The Fallow Ground ‘
’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’
Introduction: Notice that Hosea 10:12 begins with the act of sowing.
Sowing, as we well know, is to plant or put into the soil.
It can be said this way - that sowing is to do something that will eventually bring particular result.
The scripture read to us tonight says we are to sow to ourselves in righteousness.
The New International version says ‘ Sow FOR yourself…’
In other words, no one can do it for you !
Pastor can’t do it
Spouse cannot do it
Parents can train and instruct, but they can not do it for their children.
We must sow for ourselves righteousness.
You have to sow righteousness for yourself!
You have to determine FOR YOURSELF that you will be right with God!
To Stand Upright before God!
Upright is more than a position or stature – it describes your character as being honorable and honest !
Scripture tells us very plainly that OUR righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of God!
To sow to your self in righteousness takes a desire to allow God’s word and Spirit to produce in us His righteousness!
Men may be honorable and honest without God’s word and Spirit, but it is self-righteousness and it is not enough!
When men rely only on self to produce righteousness they
Do what they think and feel is right within themselves!
Proverbs 21:2 ‘Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the
LORD pondereth the hearts.’
That is a very dangerous verse of scripture, because it causes us to justify who we are and what we are by how we look on what is right!
We are in a generation that is saying ‘evil is good’ because they are looking on evil and saying that it is right and acceptable in their eyes!!
True righteousness is not based on how we look at it!
It is based on how God sees it!
That is why we must look to the word of God and if we plant in our hearts and lives Gods word we will in time produce a life of godly righteousness!
The word of God is the seed of righteousness.
2 Corinthians 9:10 (King James Version)
‘Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)’
When we desire to live by the word of God we allow God to multiply and increase His righteousness in us!
II – Notice Hosea said that we would REAP IN MERCY!
Because we are spirit filled – we should no longer sow to our flesh!
Paul addressed this when he said to the Galatians in:
Galatians 6:7-8 (King James Version)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Paul was not writing to unsaved people, he was writing to the church and was addressing the issue of spirit filled people sowing to their flesh!
He said basically that they are mocking God!
Spirit filled people who fulfill their fleshly desires mock the mercy and grace of God!
BUT he went on to say:
God is NOT mocked – that what a man sows he will also reap!
To the flesh – Corruption or – decay, ruin and destruction
To the spirit – Life Everlasting
As Spirit filled people we are to sow – plant – cultivate the righteousness of God – through His word and by His spirit!
We do not live by the culture of this or any generation, but by the eternal world of God – that changes not !
Hosea 10:12 tells us to: ‘ …break up the fallow ground…”
Fallow ground is – ground that has been left unplowed and become hard.
That is why we are told to BREAK UP The fallow ground.
The ground is nothing more than your HEART!
Jesus referred to four (4) types of soil in the gospels, but he was not talking about natural soil. He was referring to the hearts of men.
The seed is the word of God – it must get in the heart in order to produce real righteousness.
Notice again the wording of the prophet when he said ‘Sow to yourself’ –or- you must do it for yourself – you must desire the righteousness of God!
It also means to take heed for yourself – Look at your heart