Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
In the midst of the warnings Hosea includes encouragement for the Israelites that there was hope for righteousness. And even more importantly it was achievable.
Many people today do not relate fully to this picture that Hosea is painting. Sowing is the day-to-day life decisions and reaping is the result of those decisions. Hosea is simply saying to make day-to-day life choices with the objective of being righteous which would lead to kindness.
The Israelites were consumed with the moment. They were making decisions based on what they believed would give them the greatest personal benefit. Righteousness focuses on what will results in God’s kingdom in which kindness to all people is integral.
Then Hosea expands this thought by talking about preparing the ground. This means simply to prepare the ground to receive the seed. This reminds us of Jeremiah 4:3,
Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.
And also, Matthew 13 with the parable of the sower where the ground is key to the growth of the plant. The reality is that the preparation of the soil is as important as the spreading of the seed.
What does this mean to this modern world which moves so fast that we barely have the time to think? We need to stop and think. Every decision and action of the life of God’s children is to grow righteousness which will result in kindness. It is a fairly easy test for us to see if we have achieved the challenge. When we leave the room what have been the results of my words and actions?
But growing righteousness in my life which results in kindness is not always easy. We just cannot will it into being. It takes thought. It takes thoughtful preparation. According to Hosea we have to break up the fallow ground.
As Christians we have received Christ but as humans there is a lot that is making our ground hard. We read scripture. We memorize scripture. We sing the songs. But the ground is hard. It is hardened by listening to human wisdom and questioning God’s wisdom. It is hardened by looking for other ways of fulfillment instead of no matter how temporary they may prove.
We cannot respond to the seeds of righteousness because our ground is hard.
Hosea says to break up the fallow ground. Examine what is making your ground hard, your heart like stone so that you just cannot receive the seed which will result in understanding righteousness. Confess those things which have made your ground hard. Implore God to give you the strength to break those things out of your life. Determine to live for righteousness not even knowing exactly what that will look like. And God will rain righteousness. It takes thought. It takes effort. It takes faith. It will result in kindness.