Break Up Unplowed Ground

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Picture of someone breaking up unplowed ground

Hosea completes his book in today’s Bible reading*. He encourages God’s people to seek the Lord until you find Him. “Sow righteousness for yourselves and reap faithful love; break up your unplowed ground. It is time to seek the Lord until he comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain.” (Hosea 10:12 CSB)

He gives this invitation just before saying,

You have plowed wickedness and reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in your large number of soldiers, the roar of battle will rise against your people, and all your fortifications will be demolished in a day of war, like Shalman’s destruction of Beth-arbel. Mothers will be dashed to pieces along with their children.
Hosea 10:13-14 (CSB)

Hosea says the people have experienced the principle of sowing and reaping. They have harvested exactly what they planted. But he encourages the people to break up the unplowed ground — or perhaps to replow the ground they have already harvested from — and to sow righteousness in its place.


My granddaddy was a farmer. Every year he had to prepare his fields for new crops. Thanks to technology (at least when I knew him), he had a tractor that maximized his efforts to break up the dry, clay dirt clods and tear away weeds that had grown since the previous season.

He would attach a disk harrow to his tractor to sort of “chew up” the old leftover organic material from the previous year and mix that organic material into the soil as part of the fertilizer for this year. It might take several trips through the field with various pieces of equipment attached to his tractor, but eventually, the field would be nice and smooth … and soft, ready to accept new kernels of corn or whatever he was planting this year. Finally, he would drive his tractor through the loose soil to dig rows where he would go back and plant this year’s seeds.

Except for an occasional “orphan” plant, my granddaddy always knew what he would take to the market at the end of the season: it was what he planted earlier in the season. Sure, he could have just prayed for God to bring a new crop and trust God for a miracle. But, even being a faithful Believer, he knew that he had to work hard to have something to take to the market so he could feed his family and buy new seeds for next year.

What are you sowing? Let me encourage you to sow righteousness. Work hard at it, as God empowers you. Sow time in the Bible. Sow time in prayer. Sow time telling other people about how to have a dynamic relationship with God. Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Guess what you’ll harvest?

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Hosea 10
Hosea 11
Hosea 12
Hosea 13
Hosea 14

This devotional was originally published on July 6, 2021.

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