‘Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.’
Fine. It’s true. I was feeling a bit frustrated, even a bit sorry, – not for myself I don’t think but about the circumstances of our life right now – and the resulting attitude was not necessarily the prettiest. Truth be told, I want our circumstances to change. I’ve wanted it for a while. And it is completely out of my hands.
Instead of being a brat about it, I need a new perspective. A reality check. Maybe even a slap in the face or a bucket of cold water poured over my head.
And as I read the lessons appointed for today, my heart wasn’t totally in it. I sat on a bucket in the kitchen reading the lessons on my phone while the kids finished breakfast. Where was my heart? I don’t know. It wasn’t focused on the kids, and it wasn’t focused on God either. It was likely focused on, ‘When will things change?!’
So I sat on the bucket, reading the Psalms appointed for today, and then I got to Hosea. Hosea’s story is an interesting one in that he was instructed to marry a prostitute (Gomer) so that his life would demonstrate what God’s relationship with Israel looked like. When I think of Hosea, that’s what I remember. God told Hosea to marry Gomer – someone who had clearly sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – but someone whom he loved and to whom he was faithful regardless of her shortcomings, as a way to show how God related to Israel and how He still relates to us. He chooses a relationship with us even though we have made some pretty ugly choices.
As I was reading along I was struck by this verse: ‘Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.’ Hosea 10:12
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap steadfast love. Well now that sure would be a better use of my energy than fretting over when the changes I so desire will come. As I said to a friend a few nights ago, I have as much control over this as I do over my salvation! There’s nothing I can do to earn it. It is out of my hands. So in the meanwhile, instead of wondering when and being, as my husband says, palpably eager, I am going to try a new approach.
It is time to sow righteousness, reap steadfast love, and seek the Lord.
I had to read a little about what ‘sow for yourselves righteousness’ means in this case. According to the Pulpit Commentary, the command here is to deal righteously with others so that He may come and rain righteousness upon the Israelites (and us). There is a correlation between the two. We deal righteously with others so that God will pour righteousness out on us.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself taking a deep breath and sighing a little when I read that. Not that my dealings with others will necessarily command God to pour righteousness on me (far be it from me to tell Him what to do), but that if I do not deal righteously with others, why would God ever want to deal righteously with me? As I tell my kids all the time, it’s all about your attitude. If my attitude towards others is lousy, I can’t expect anything different from God.
What then does this mean for me and my eager heart? Well, there is a lot to it. My husband just got back from being gone for a long time. As soon as he got home, he went straight to work and made plans to go hunting. I sat there quietly, not saying anything about what that meant to me, and instead letting my frustration brew and grow. When I did speak, I doubt my words or the attitude coming out of me was one of righteousness! Why should I be surprised when his response back to me was less than charitable? How can I expect God to rain righteousness on me if I have a bad attitude towards my husband?
And there is the cold bucket of water on my head! Yes, there are things that I want for me and for our family and I can’t get them right now. Nothing I can do will change that. As I wait for a change, I need to speak kindly to my family. I need to make sure that everyone’s needs (mine included) are getting met. My dealings with others need to be honorable if I hope and expect God to deal well with me.
How about you? What is God calling you to in this season? How will you respond? Comment below!
PS: If you know someone else who would benefit from this article or from SteeringtheArk.com, please forward it to them!