Rev. E. Anderson
AN APPROPRIATE HOUR
Even though the messenger of the Lord is called upon to affirm the true situation that Israel was in because of her sinful creed and conduct, it would seem that the Lord is emphasising to Judah the possibility of avoiding the same fate if it will take remedial action – vv11,12. There could come a reprieve and stay of judgement if she will adopt some sound and sensible doings of a right, spiritual order. It was an apt moment to get through to the southern kingdom and it was an appropriate hour for them to sit up and take notice and introduce the necessary reforms. There was something it could do from going down the same track and finishing up in a dreadful state. The summons indicates that
1/. THERE WAS TO BE THE PLOUGHING UP OF THEIR HARD HEARTS -W11.12
It is called in the AV ‘fallow ground.’ This means land that had been left unattended and had become hardened, unproductive and in a state of utter barrenness. It was essential first of all that the cutting edge of the plough share penetrate and break up this condition of heart. Hardness of heart speaks of lack of responsiveness and yieldedness to God but now it was time for the breakthrough by God through His Spirit and Word to turn them over. A softening up procedure towards the Lord needed to occur. Brokenness was to precede blessedness.
2/. THERE WAS TO BE THE SOWING OF THE SEEDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – v12
The fallow could become the fertile and the fruitful if there was the readiness to receive and have the right seeds sown and the best plants planted. It was needful to have not only the right disposition but to make sure that there was a divine intake of choice sowing of the good and right kind. A miraculous change could take place providing the divine way of life was introduced and adhered to. A new and further opportunity was with them to amend what was being begotten into their hearts and lives.
3/. THERE WAS TO BE EXPERIENCING OF THE SHOWERS OF GOD’S BLESSING-v12
If they attended to the ploughing and sowing then there would fall in accord divine showers that would cause the seed to germinate, grow and become a healthy and wholesome crop. God would certainly fulfil His part if they truly did theirs. The whole situation would be changed by these showers.
4/. THERE WAS TO BE THE REAPING OF THE BEST KIND OF HARVEST
The end result would be a divine harvest that would satisfy the Lord and would bring complete enjoyment to God’s people. The reaping would herald all that was good and ensure the future of all. It can be seen that it was in their interests to rise at this opportune time to act out what was required of them. They could not afford to be indifferent to God.