“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.” Hosea 10:12
What are you sowing today? The Israelites had sown sin for many years, and thus were going to reap the punishment/judgement. We’ve read much of what God has planned for them. However, here we see a promise. A beautiful blessed promise. If they begin to sow righteousness now they will reap mercy in the future. The fallow ground? Thats the ground that hasn’t been touched in a long time. He wants them to break up that hardness on their hearts, and soften themselves to His ways so that those seeds of righteousness will take hold. How are they to break that hardness of heart? By seeking God.
So again, I ask what are you sowing today? As you know we’ve been sick so this is a tough one to answer. Its easy to say that we didn’t do anything all week. We rested and healed, which we did. However, we are always sowing something. Did we sow righteousness or sin today? Did we spend time in God’s word, or listen to hymns of praise (no voice to sing 😉 )? Or did we elevate ourselves and our own wants and desires? I like to think that by serving my family, caring and cuddling for my sick children is sowing righteousness. When I fold the laundry and clean the house for them to live happy, safe and healthy I’m sowing righteousness. When I wiped that millionth snotty nose or yet another diapered bottom, I’m sowing righteousness. Do not discount today what you do mama. Lest you think me saintly or super mama, please know I also sowed some sin for which I needed to seek forgiveness. I lost my temper, and was short with my children in my own selfish sickly moments.
“I often must sacrifice my own needs and desires for the purpose of giving my children what they need and modeling for them the depths of Christ’s love.”- Sally Clarkson
We are given a choice everyday to choose which seeds we plant in our community, church, children, and marriage. Motherhood is sanctifying. Marriage is sanctifying. It is hard work, but as you may recall hard is not the same as bad.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth John 17:17
If you find yourself struggling to sow the love of Christ today may I encourage you to read and pray over God’s word, be still (even if just for a few moments), and hide God’s word in your heart.
“Motherhood is a million little moments that God weaves together with grace, redemption, laughter, tears and most or all, love”- Lysa TerKeurst
Allow God’s holy spirit to help you sow righteousness in your home this week and always. And NEVER forget that you are doing a mighty work for God simply through marriage and motherhood. He wants the best for you and will use the best of you. Sow your hearts with His love and reap the mercy for the sins and the blessings from His love.
“I always wanted to be a hero–to sacrifice my life in a big way one time–and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.”
― Sally Clarkson in Desperate
This took a couple of reads to see the beauty. In the first few verses you see God’s love for Israel, but in the last half you see His chastisement. God is so good though that even in the chastisement He can’t help but love His people. Check out verse 8. Is that love or what?
Now reread verse 9. How wonderful and merciful is our God? We have spent the month reading the sin that Israel has committed. We read every offense and promise of punishment. Now God is not going to forego all punishment, for He loves them and wants them to learn from their mistakes.
Have you ever been so hurt, so angry, you can’t bring yourself to think kindly of that person? Maybe you were shaking with rage, or defeated with hurt. You truly were in the right and the other person was wrong. That is a hard situation, and its often hard to forgive. To let go and let God take control.
Corrie Ten Boom says, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
In our reading God is angry, and rightly so with His wicked people. They had done unthinkable wrongs towards God in their selfish and proud pursuits, but God says “I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger,” He will not do all that is within His power and right, because He loves them.
How do I know? Because he declares, “FOR I AM GOD, AND NOT MAN, THE HOLY ONE IN YOUR MIDST,” That kind of long-suffering, forgiveness and compassion can only come from the great I AM who is LOVE. His full love and forgiveness is something we struggle to truly grasp.
CH Spurgeon writes, “He not only forgave us at the first all our sins, but he continues daily to forgive, for the act of forgiveness is a continuous one.”
In the full text, Spurgeon goes on to say that God has “divinely pardoned us.” This is what he did for the Israelites here in our passage. This is what Hosea demonstrated when he took back Gomer. This is what Christ did on the Cross.
I so humbly grateful He is God, and not man. As humans we struggle to forgive. Some may even say we as women struggle more with holding grudges, but not our God. When He forgives, He forgives completely and it no longer exists. He loves us so much that He no longer sees the offense, but instead sees the one He loves.
The chapter goes on and isn’t all rainbows and sparkles, but we have the promise that He is God and not man. He will, like any good parent, chases the naughtiness but will always love us.
Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. -Corrie Ten Boom
This chapter of Hosea shows us the depth of God’s love for his people even in the midst of our sins. It reminds me of Romans 5:8, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God truly wants a relationship with us. He wants to love us as a parent loves their child, even when they are in the wrong. This little book of prophecy reminds us that God has loved His creation from the beginning and will continue to love us despite our own naughty tendencies. He doesn’t love us with that flimsy love we see in those Hallmark Christmas movies. He loves us with an abundant unfailing mighty love than transcends all sin.
“Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.”
This is my favorite verse from this book. Anyone else have a series on verses about waiting you cling to? I must be the most impatient person around because it seems the Lord likes to test me through waiting. From waiting for babies who don’t like to be born early, waiting to find a home, waiting for God’s call to more than I can explain briefly.
Here in this verse we see 3 commands.
First turn to God. If you aren’t already seeking the Lord turn towards Him and return to His word and His ways. “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22
Second keep mercy and judgement. Remember that forgiveness we talked about yesterday? He’s reminding us to forgive as He forgives, and keep His righteous judgement before us. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 We are called to a high calling of Christianity and must remember to exert ourselves as Christ does.
Finally he tells us to wait on Him. Then there is that nagging word at the end of the verse, continually. What? You mean forever?!?! Yes, Strong’s confirms that this means for an indefinite extension, constant, regularly, always, continually, perpetually waiting upon the Lord. To tarry patiently waiting upon our Lord forever seems a bit hopeless in these terms. We think of waiting as standing on line at the DMV, waiting for our children to finally get their shoes on, waiting for our husband to finish that despised project.
Another way to look at it is not wait as we see it, but rather to hope for. Hope, expect, look eagerly for the Lord continually. I like how John Gill puts it, “both in private prayer, and for an answer to it, and in public worship and ordinances, in hope of meeting with him, and enjoying his presence;” When we think of waiting on the Lord we need to change our focus off the toe tapping anxiousness we associate with waiting and remember that He is asking us to depend upon Him. To trust Him completely with all that He has for us and to expect that He will answer our prayers. For the God who took the time to make us, holds us in the palm of His hands. He loves us fiercely and wants only good for us.
Psalms 130:5 – I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Psalms 62:5 – My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [is] from him.
Psalms 40:1 – (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
So maybe I’m not the most impatient person around, but I may be near the top. 😉 God wants us to trust him wholeheartedly, with expectant hope of His provision, answer, and love. Always looking for Him in all that we do, looking for His answers to prayer yes. Also looking for Him in the provision and the blessings and the trials. Waiting and hoping for the Lord with exuberant joy.
Thanks for joining me on this journey, 2 more chapters!