“For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” —Jeremiah 4:3
What idols have we set up in the seat of our wills? National pride? Many in Judah and Jerusalem may have thought, “We may be sliding a bit into treachery, but at least we’re not worshipping golden calves in Bethel like those in the Northern Kingdom before Assyria brought God’s judgment.” Are the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches choking the Word of God that should be in us and producing fruit (see Matthew 13)? Have we forgotten that we worship a glorious God of truth, judgment and righteousness (Jeremiah 4:2)?
We are commanded to plow the soil of our hearts so that the seed planted in us may grow and produce fruit. If the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches hinder the fruitfulness of the Word in our lives, is it any wonder that we sow the Word of truth among thorns, cast pearls before swine, and give that which is holy unto dogs? Even among those saved by God’s grace, this is using wood, hay, and stubble to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 3:11-16). Let us, with joy, heed the Lord’s loving command in Jeremiah 4:1-2, NASB,
“If you will return, O Israel,” declares the LORD, “Then you should return to Me. And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, and will not waver, And you will swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’ in truth, in justice, and in righteousness; then the nations will bless themselves in Him, and in Him they will glory.”