I recently came across a very interesting verse. In Hosea 10:12-14, the Lord gives us insight into what it means to seek Him:
12Sow 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.
13You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors,
14therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed.
What does it mean to “seek the Lord”? Let’s look at this phrase over the next two days. Many things probably come to mind with this phrase; it is found throughout Scripture. In meditating on this verse, I realised my idea of seeking God is when I sit by myself and pray or read the Word. This is definitely part of it, but this verse goes deeper. God tells us it is time to seek Him. What are the signs of this ‘time’? There are three elements that God gives us: Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground.
Think of when you seek to go somewhere for a meeting, or for a vacation (lockdown-free). You make sure you have everything you need; you prepare well in advance; you make sure you leave enough time for travel. In the same way, God gives us a map on how to seek Him.
The three elements God gives us are all actions; to sow, to reap, and to break up. Seeking God requires action. Furthermore, these are all actions that impact others. To sow righteousness is to live according to God’s will and standards, to obey His commands and to do his will in each and every moment (the opposite of trusting in our own ways). Sowing righteousness requires intentional actions to follow God. To live in righteousness means to lay down our own will, our own desires, and to adopt His will, and to rejoice in doing it.
One of His commands is to love one another. When we love one another, we are actively expressing God’s love to those around us, which results in us reaping love in return. Living under God’s will allows us to be filled with His love for us.
The last element is to break up our fallow ground. The ground of our hearts and minds must be broken; we must be ready to receive from God in a posture of humility. Humility acknowledges our complete need for God and our helplessness without Him. It requires us to not trust in our own ways but in His. To break up our fallow ground is to ready ourselves for truth, for God’s instruction. We can ask God to reveal His truth to us, and put disciplines in place to meditate on His truth.
When we engage in these three elements, we are showing God that we are pursuing Him and that we want more of Him. We are telling Him that we are willing and ready to follow Him more. When we do this, He will “come and rain righteousness upon you.” What a beautiful statement! God Himself is the One who supplies us with the tools to seek Him. He will bring increase to what we have given Him, and will grant us deeper intimacy and revelation.
What happens when we don’t seek Him? Verse 14 tells us: disaster. The good side is given in verse 12; the evil side is revealed in verse 13. If we plow iniquity, if injustice is reaped, if we eat the fruit of lies, God will not be pleased. This is a picture of the person who does not seek God but trusts in his own ways. Only ruin can be the result. Whatever we seek will determine the course of our life.
Our goal must be to see the beauty of what God can do with someone who is faithful and dedicated to Him. He gives us a picture of the consequences of trusting in our own ways because He knows that the best way to live is in pursuit of Him.
Questions for reflection:
- In what ways have you sought the Lord in the past?
- How can you practically sow righteousness today?
- Is your heart in a position of humility to receive from Him?
- Are you trusting your own ways, or trusting God’s?