“A farmer went out to sow his seed… Some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.”
Jesus tells this parable about everyday farming to teach a spiritual truth. “The seed is the word of God,” he says. And for people who represent the hard-packed soil of the path, the Word does not sink in and take root. It is not understood, it is ignored, and the devil comes and takes it away “so that they may not believe and be saved.”
If we are hardened against God’s Word, we are unable to understand it. So a heart check is good for all of us.
Farmers remedy the hard ground by plowing it up. Spiritually we are called to the same remedy. In ancient Israel the prophet Hosea had to remind the people, “Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12).
The city of Nineveh during the time of Jonah stands as a model moving from a place of hard-heartedness to breaking up the unplowed ground and seeking the Lord. When Jonah preached in Nineveh, the people believed God and declared a fast (Jonah 3:5). They humbled themselves, prayed, sought God’s face, and turned from their wicked ways. And God forgave their sins and did not bring the destruction he had threatened.
How are our hearts? God’s remedy still works today.
Father, may your kingdom come and your will be done as our hearts grow fully devoted to you. Grant us courage to humble ourselves when our hearts are hard. Amen.
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