BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Jeremiah 4 : 1-26
'For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, 'Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.”’ - Jeremiah 4:3
The status of the country of Judah in Jeremiah's time was very pathetic. Various kings who ruled the country had led them into apostasy and idol worship. Even heinous practices such as sacrificing children to idols, human sacrifices, and adultery were prevalent. People were unfaithful, violence and oppression against the weak and injustice were rampant. In this situation of widespread social degradation, God was speaking through His servant Jeremiah to the people to repent and return!
The condition prevailing at the time of Jeremiah (around 600 B.C.) was no different than what we see around us now in these modern times! The conscience of even those who follow Christ have become hardened. Hearts have become cold towards the harsh realities of life. Sin is encouraged, and true love is vanishing. We have a message from God: RETURN!! (Jer.4:1).
He outlines the process of return as reinstating the condition of their heart. So in Verse-3 He says: Break up your fallow ground! God who created humans understands the condition of every heart and has expressed the reality in vivid terms – your heart is like a fallow ground!! Fallow ground means: idle, uncultivated, unproductive, untilled ground. This is unused soil, not a regularly plowed field. Like the preparation required for a fallow ground to make it suitable for cultivation, God is asking people to prepare their hearts so that so that He can accept them. God is always interested in the hearts of people. The real change has to happen in the heart so that the entire person will be changed.
REMOVE THE THORNS
The first act of preparation of the fallow ground is to remove the thorns. In Jer.4:3, it says “…do not sow among thorns.” Jesus explains what happens if the seed is sown among thorns and what the thorns are in Mark 4:19. Let us be wise enough to clear thorns to plant God’s Word!
WASH YOUR HEART
If the thorns removed, then the heart must be washed. Like skin covering the flesh, evil deeds have covered their hearts. (Jer. 4:4) The Heart is the wellspring of life (Prov.4:23) and whatever is in the heart will be revealed through words and actions. So it is important that the heart’s condition be attended to. Elsewhere in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, such hearts are referred to as heart of stone. God says He will replace the stony heart with a heart of flesh – a heart that has compassion, a heart that will be pained by seeing or even thinking sin, a heart that will be sensitive to God’s voice!! Jer.4:14 says to wash the heart from evil, meaning, to remove the wicked thoughts lodged within the heart. 1 John1:7-9 – the blood of Jesus Christ can wash your heart clean!!!!
RETURN TO GOD
The above two actions must culminate in our returning to God. In Jer.4:1 God lays outs the condition for returning to Him – put away the detested things from His presence and do not waver! It is one thing to respond to God’s call and repent, but it is another thing to be unwavering- to stand firm in that state!! Matthew 15:1-20 explains some of the detestable things that defile the heart.
As we wonder how to accomplish what God says, He gives a comforting message in Ezekiel 36:27 – "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Only a plowed fallow ground can receive the Spirit of God.
Remove the Thorns, Wash your Heart and Return to God – He will accept you!
'Lord Jesus I give my heart to You, wash it with Your precious blood and implant Your Word. Fill me with Your Spirit that I may walk in Your ways and be rooted there.'
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