Hosea 10:12 – Sow 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.
The Lord had released the Israelites from their captivity with Egypt and if they didn’t change their ways and return to the Lord, they would end up as captives with Assyria. God wanted his people to be free from all bondage and live in his abundant goodness and favour. Their hearts were as fallow as the ground but they could change that by opening up their hearts once again to the Lord and allowing him to sow the seeds of love and faithfulness.
The Lord loved his people from the very beginning:
“When Israel was a child, I love him, and out of Egypt I called my son. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love… and I bent down to them and fed them.”
When we consider the long-suffering nature of God, we should be ashamed of our behaviour. As with the children of Israel, he continues to endure patiently with us today; why do we insist on testing that patience daily? We really are like spoiled children at times and our attention is just as fleeting, like the morning mist or like the dew that goes early away. Unlike the tiny droplets of mist or dew, God wants to pour down his righteousness upon us. In order for that to happen, we must first give up unrighteousness, turn from unfaithfulness and do what is right in the eyes of God.
So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God (12:6).
This is who God is – He is love and He is justice. He demonstrates his love through grace and through mercy, but he also demonstrates his love through discipline. We cannot expect to do what we want when we want and not be pulled up for it. God does not want to see us get hurt from a fall which is why he puts guardrails in place and shows us the safe path. Unfortunately, we sometimes see those guardrails as a hindrance to our enjoyment of what we can see beyond them. We run off on our own, disregarding the warnings and away from the Father’s safe keeping. Discipline is necessary to keep us from danger.
We need to seek the Lord in every decision that we make for he is the only one who can see the road ahead and he will guide us faithfully and lovingly. Wait continually for your God and enjoy the fullness of his presence in every area of your life.