“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12).
The Prophet is speaking the Word of the LORD to us. He is commanding us to be sown in righteousness, the right ways and right order of the LORD. This being sown in righteousness is a work of God in us by the Holy Spirit. This work of God is a work of our being sown into Christ in “the likeness of His death” and “the likeness of His Resurrection” (cf. Romans 6:5).
The Prophet, Isaiah, wrote: “Prepare ye the way of the LORD” (Isaiah 40:3). There is a true way of the LORD, and there are the ways of men. There is a true order to the righteousness of God; so, we must guard against being out of God’s true order. God’s ways and order are contrary to our natural thinking. We think we should be masters of our own destiny. The truth is we should be joined in death and resurrection in the true Master of our destiny and let Him direct us into His destiny for us. This reversal of the natural way of thinking to the spiritual way of thinking takes a breaking up of our self-will and selfish nature; what the Prophet calls “fallow ground.” Ground that is not ready for planting, but full of rocks, weeds, is compacted and hard.
The natural man thinks he can unite his own self-will with the Spirit of God, and put his self-will in service to God. This is a deception. This will produce a false sense of justification and a false righteousness. This false idol or false altar will not satisfy as a propitiation for sin. Only the Cross and the Blood of the Lamb will be a true sacrifice on a true altar and be a satisfactory offering to the Father (cf. Hebrews 8:2). The natural man is in danger of becoming an “altar of sin,” as in the days of Hosea with Israel in the high places of Bethel (cf. Hosea 10:8). This is the condition that challenged God and brought forth the word of the LORD from Hosea at verse 12 of our text. This is what the Prophets continually contended with throughout the history of Israel. It is what we must contend with in our day.
In Israel in the days of Hosea there was a mixing of the cultish practices of the Canaanites with the Priesthood established by the Law of Moses. This mixing brought forth the judgment of God upon them. Mixing the culture of the day and the mores of the people, with the true ways and order of the LORD in righteousness will always bring judgment upon those who engage in the works of man and are working outside of the true Gospel of Christ.
God desires to come “and rain righteousness upon” His people. He can only rain righteousness upon that which conforms to His righteous way and order. As we are sown in righteousness, we will reap God’s mercy; we will reap His eternal love; His loyalty to us; for the mercy, love and loyalty will be upon that which is of His Righteous Seed.
It is time to seek the LORD. It is time to pray, to gather as His people, to be His field and His building (cf. I Corinthians 3:9). It is time for the True, Righteous Seed, without mixture to be revealed. It is time for Christ to be glorified in His Saints and for the manifestation of the Sons of God (cf. Romans 8:19). It is the earnest expectation of all Creation and this hope will be fulfilled. It is time.