You reap what you sow. This leadership principle is so pervasive throughout the Bible. I came across it again today in Hosea 10. The prophet said:
Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you (v. 12).
This verse of grace–God’s unmerited favor–stands out in the middle of all the verses around it that display God’s judgment on Israel. He is still offering mercy and love if they will just repent. Regardless of how much we go it alone, God still desires an intimate relationship with us. He wants to shower righteousness on us … if only we’ll turn back and seek Him.
Did the Israelites accept God’s grace? You probably know the answer:
But you have cultivated wickedness and raised a thriving crop of sins. You have eaten the fruit of lies—trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe! (v. 13).
This is so sad. The good seeds from verse 12 fell on hard and rocky ground, and did not produce good fruit. Instead, seeds of wickedness brought the fruit of sin and lies. Satan is the deceiver and the father of lies. His seed produced its fruit. Like crabgrass, Satan’s deceptions grow best in the hard ground of our hearts.
Father, do what you must to plow the hardened ground in my heart. Till up the hard places–the areas of my heart that I’ve left exposed, that I have not tended to. Father, I do not want to allow Satan to put down roots into those areas, and where he already has, Lord, I ask that you carefully till and then cultivate those areas for You. I ask You, my Father, to soften all those places of my heart that have become hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Soften them and then plant Your good seed into my heart so that I may be able to produce a crop of righteousness for You. I know, dear Jesus, that I cannot bear fruit on my own. I desperately need You to do in my life what only You can do.