Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

Hosea 10:12

Reading this verse from Hosea, we can be reminded of the parable of the sower. Out of all the kinds of soil, the seed that fell on the good soil was the one that produced incredibly abundant fruit. And we can also be reminded that we reap what we sow and we will not reap what we do not sow. So the condition of the seed and the soil are both important. What is the condition of the fallow ground that God says we must break it up?

fal·low /ˈfalō/
synonyms: uncultivated, unplowed, untilled, unplanted, unsown; unused, dormant, resting, empty, bare “fallow farmland”

Fallow ground is the good soil that has been neglected. It is the hardened heart, the neglected muscles of faith, laziness and irresponsibility.

The Consequence of Fallow Ground

Ask yourself: What kind of fruit of faith am I bearing these days? Has my affections towards God grown cold? Does complacency and boredom define my faith? Am I relying more on myself and trusting my own thoughts?

Could it be that we have been neglecting our good soil of faith?

Think about at any farmland or even homes that are neglected or abandoned. Inevitably, that land returns to resemble more of its natural or previous state. Buildings break down, and weeds take over. Weeds have no problem growing on fallow ground. Likewise, the fallow faith eventually comes to resemble our previous condition of bondage to sin. Maybe even worse. Because, no matter how good the seed is, no matter how good the water is, nothing good can grow on fallow ground. Just as neglecting to exercise our muscles leads to atrophy of those muscles, faith atrophies on fallow ground.

Break Up Your Fallow Ground

Once the fallow ground is broken up, plowed, and tilled, the seeds will be able to grow and the harvest will be abundant. Faith will prosper. Because God’s Word is very clear that the good soil will produce abundantly.

It may hurt, it may be uncomfortable and feel shameful, but it is the only way to living and vibrant faith, to freedom and true satisfaction.

What fallow ground do you need to break up in your life?

And coming back to the verse in Hosea, God’s command to break up the fallow ground reflects the awesome truth that God still cares for you. If he did not care, he would have abandoned the fallow ground.

It is out of his desire to “come and rain righteousness upon you” that he calls us again and again to break up our fallow ground.


Notes from Friday Sermon
November 30, 2018

“Fallow Ground” (Hosea 10:12)
Reverend Ben Hur