Sowing Wheat, Reaping Thorns


Today we see God describe a vineyard being trampled as he reflects on his people going astray. His land has been made desolate because no one is committed to it with heart. Would God say that about my life or yours? Are we committed to being built up in God?

1 You are always righteous, Lord,
when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?
2 You have planted them, and they have taken root;
they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
but far from their hearts.
3 Yet you know me, Lord;
you see me and test my thoughts about you.

10 Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard
and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
into a desolate wasteland.
11 It will be made a wasteland,
parched and desolate before me;
the whole land will be laid waste
because there is no one who cares.
12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
destroyers will swarm,
for the sword of the Lord will devour
from one end of the land to the other;
no one will be safe.
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.
They will bear the shame of their harvest
because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people.
Jeremiah 12:1-3, 10-16

Jeremiah pleads his case with God: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? They are producing fruit and yet their minds are far from the Lord. But God knows Jeremiah and sees his heart, which is dedicated to God. There have been plots against Jeremiah’s life, while the wicked are at ease…

When God answers the Lord describes what it is like to have his precious people come to ruin. He describes a vineyard being trampled. His land has been made desolate because no one is committed to it with heart. Would God say that about my life or yours?

Then the destroyers come, invading from one end of the land to the other. Where wheat was sown, thorns were harvested because the Lord is angry with both his people and the invaders. God takes no joy in the disobedience of his people or in the tools he uses to discipline them. God desires to have his people return to his fold.

Therefore, as we see in vs 15, there will be compassion available to bring them back and restore them. And if they learn – if we learn – to live by God’s ways and not the ways of idols and self-made gods, God’s people will be built up in him.

I wish our lives were not like Israel and Judah. Yet the reality is we can fall into the cycles of waywardness and restoration, relying on the patience and grace of God. May we be more resilient to live for God and rely fully on his Spirit. May we not fall into the traps we see here and continue to be built up in God.

Declare that God is your Lord and Saviour and you will abandon any pursuits which are unfaithful to him…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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