Hosea calls for God’s unfaithful people, Israel, to “break up the fallow ground” in their hearts.  Jeremiah 4:3 includes the very same exhortation. We all have a little fallow ground.  It must be broken up. When that’s done, then we will be able to “Sow for yourselves righteousness” as we sow righteousness we will then “ reap steadfast love” (See Hosea 10:12)

Israel’s hard, unfaithful heart broke God’s heart. It’s all a matter of the heart; God’s heart for His people and His people’s heart, or lack of heart, for their God. The heart is the center of our lives. Scripture often uses agricultural language when it illustrates the character of our hearts.  Before seed can be sowed or harvest reaped, the ground must be prepared. Weeds must be removed. Jesus told the parable of the four soils and interpreted it for us as representing hard, fallow hearts, rocky hearts, weedy hearts and finally good soil hearts. If the crop is bad the farmer does not try to fix the plants, vines, trees or the sprouts. He focuses on the soil. You have to get to the heart of the problem. Solomon pleads with his son, “above all else guard your heart.”

It’s so easy to let our hearts become callous and hard-packed.  Hosea calls us to break our own hearts. Make it soft! Make it receptive to God’s work.  Remove the rocks, pull the weeds, plant the good seeds of God’s Word, fertilize it, water it, watch over it carefully and watch God bring true growth as we experience a harvest of His steadfast love.


“Create in me a pure heart, O God.” (Psalm 51) “Blessed are the pure in heart.” (Matthew 6)