Hosea spoke concerning the Lord’s judgement against Isreal. He started off by saying, that the more that Isreal prospered, the more they built sacred pillars. The sacred pillars were dedicated to the worship of pagan gods. The people strayed away from the true worship of God. “The hearts of the people are fickle; they are guilty and must be punished. The Lord will break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars” (Hosea 10:2). The people used vain repetitions before God and made vows and covenants which they had no intention or desire to keep. God was angry at the unrighteousness of his people.
Nevertheless, God sent his prophetic word ahead of their impending destruction. The books of the prophets from Isaiah and Jeremiah to the minor prophets, spoke warnings to God’s people. Their words and declarations echoed of the coming destruction. This was due to the rebellion of the people who were called to repent before destruction. “For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns” (Jeremiah 4:3). Jeremiah also warned the people to plough the hard soil of their hearts. This was so that they would not sow among thorns.
Our hearts are referred to in scripture as soil, which can either be fertile or shallow and arid. Jesus shared the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, in reference to how we receive the word of God. Many people hear the word of God preached, but the condition of their hearts determine whether or not the word bears fruit. Sometimes the word preached is received into hearts that are hardened by the cares of life. As such, people struggle to receive the implanted word of God and to demonstrate transformation. “Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted” (Matthew 13:8)!
The exhortation from Hosea is to sow righteousness in order to reap steadfast love. Remember that we reap what we sow, so when we demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ, we will reap righteousness. We also need to ensure that the condition of our heart is right to receive the word of God. Anger, bitterness, resentment, pride and jealousy can choke the word of God. There are conditions that we need to repent of and humble ourselves to remain teachable. We have to examine our motives and constantly test our own spirits, to ensure that we remain in alignment with God’s will and purpose. “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).