“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes, and showers righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 (NIV).
As we read through the Prophecy of Hosea it becomes abundantly clear there, what God feels about us embracing in worship, other faiths, and immorality. God calls it idolatry. The Revised Standard Version speaks of the need to, “Break up the fallow ground.” This is perhaps more descriptive than “unploughed ground”, as the fallow ground is one that has once known harvest. It has experienced an overgrowing of weeds, wintering and hardening. It needs the blade of the plough to go in and break it up, to prepare it for the planting of “the good seeds of righteousness.”
Charles Finney, the American revivalist, considers this one of the most comprehensive verses in scripture regarding revival. He speaks of the day of the horse-drawn plough and a term the farmers used – “beam deep.” When they came to an obstacle in the furrow, they did not skirt around it but instead, they lifted up the beam of the plough. In doing this, they increased the angle of the blade, causing it to go down into the earth and under the obstacle, hence bringing it to the surface, removing it! This he suggests is what we need to do with issues in our lives and the church that block the possibility of the Holy Spirit moving in us. A challenging thought!
When we pray for revival in Ireland, such thoughts are worthy of our consideration.
“Search me, O God and know my heart… see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23, 24.