God’s covenant people, planted as a vine to bear much fruit, instead emptied themselves into the altars of false gods . . . and, as such, became a dead vine . . . a vine laid waste. Planted through the promise of abundant blessing in a fertile place, they had become a dry land . . . a dry and barren land. The ground had become hard. Seed, sown through the word of God and the evidence of His presence, was blown away by the winds of rebellion and infidelity. Though they thought they were living, they were dead. And as I continue reading in the prophets, God’s just-ness compels Him to warn of judgment. But God’s love, compassion, and grace, propel Him to continue to offer a way of escape. This morning I hear the Father’s plea, Let righteousness rain!
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. (Hosea 10:12 ESV)
It’s time to seek the LORD . . . that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.
A much needed plea for a withered vine which has spent itself in pursuit of false lovers . . . a much needed reminder for a sinner saved by grace with a heart prone to wander.
There is a righteousness available to be poured out upon the people of God. They sow the seed of righteousness . . . they prime the pump of the outpouring . . . by faith. But the righteousness is not their own. It is that of Another. It is not earned . . . it is gifted. It is not of merit . . . it is of grace. And mine is seek the LORD that the righteousness might rain.
I was also reading in John 15:1-8 this morning. Jesus identifies Himself as “the true vine” . . . the Father as the vinedresser . . . and His own as branches intended to bear fruit. Kind of like His ancient people Israel, huh?
He says that a branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine . . . neither can a follower of Christ bear fruit unless he remains, or continues, in fellowship with the risen Savior. He says that fruit bearing is an evidence of discipleship. And He says, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.”
So I’m thinking how much I don’t want to be barren . . . how much I long to avoid becoming like dry and hardened land . . . how regretful I’d be if I became unable to bear fruit because my heart sought another.
O that I might continue to seek the Lord . . . the His righteousness would continue to rain down upon me. That I might continually break up the fallow ground . . . that His grace would pour out upon me . . . that I might abide in Him . . . that His life, through His blessed Holy Spirit, might flow through me.
Let righteousness rain . . . that fruit might be born . . . that others might know we are His disciples . . . that God might receive all the glory.