Hebrews 6:7-8 give us an agricultural image that illustrates what the writer has already been talking about. The Israelites coming out of Egypt all experienced the marvelous miracles of deliverance. They all followed the fire and smoke. They all ate the Manna from heaven. They all drank from the bitter waters at Marah that had become sweet. They were all recipients of God’s promises to inherit the land of Canaan, but only a few entered into God’s rest. The majority languished in the wilderness. Why? Because they did not trust God. They did not believe God. Like Peter walking on water, they took their eyes off of God, and put them on themselves and their circumstances and became doubtful and fearful. But the truth is, they all experienced the outpouring of God’s marvelous grace. It wasn’t what God did that made the difference but how it was “perceived.” The rain falls on everyone. Hebrews 6:7-8 says, “For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.”

Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies. It’s no big deal to love people who love you, but it’s God like to love those who don’t love you. In Matthew 5, He describes God as someone who loves everyone. Jesus says we should learn to be like God in this regard. Then He says in Matthew 5:45, “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” The universe declares the glory of God! Some see it as chance or coincidence. Other’s see it as a divine hand at work. But it’s easy to become hardened to the miraculous all around us. It’s easy to see that the “survival of the fittest” is what this world is all about and therefore we must compete with everyone to win. The harder we work the more we get. We live in a world of sowing and reaping and there is no escape. Jesus offered us the only true escape when He said in Matthew 11:28, “come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The ground has been cursed because of sin and we live in a cursed world. Jesus wants to reverse that curse and lead us through faith into the Promised Land of rest. But like the children of Israel at Kadesh Barnea we often harden our hearts to God.

As Moses ends his teachings to Israel in Deuteronomy, he teaches them about sowing and reaping. In the land that God is giving them, they will reap exactly what they sow. God’s steadfast love for mankind moved Him to give His people detailed instructions on how to live a healthy and happy life in this cursed world. If they obey, they will be blessed. If they doubt God’s love for them and disobey, they will feel the curse. Moses wants the best for them so in Deuteronomy 32:2-3 he prays, “May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD.” Hosea uses the agricultural image of sowing and reaping also. The seed is “righteousness” and the crop that will be harvested is “steadfast love.” Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love…” But the righteousness that God wants from us is not our own. It’s already demonstrated that we have none of our own. He’ll take care of the righteousness, we must soften our hearts. Hosea continues his verse and adds, “break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Jesus is our righteousness!