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  • David

    Member
    December 8, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Laying aside the competing analogies this text has at least two applications in my view. As any farmer knows “fallow ground” and “hardpan” are two different things. Fallow ground, or fallow soil, is simply ground or soil which has been left unplanted for a period of time. This is a common farming practice to allow the ground to rest. Hardpan is a cemented or compacted layer in the soil, usually from 2 to 4 feet under the surface. It is formed chemically, by lime, iron or silicate materials depositing at the same level and cementing the soil particles together. This cementing takes place very slowly over a long period of time. Breaking up or subsoiling allows you to cultivate the land normally rendering it productive.

    Now before, you jump on me for being a smart …. let me say that both practices are aimed at rendering the soil more fruitful, which I believe is JD’s point. But I see two different applications. Fallowing the soil is allowing it to rest for a season. I see this as a necessary spiritual practice, but if you allow the soil to rest too long weeds and pests will begin to grow and produce in the once fertile soil. In order to prevent this you till or plow the soil periodically during the period of fallowing. The spiritual principle is that we need to rest from time to time to replenish and recharge ourselves if we want to produce more fruit. This is why the Sabbath Day and spiritual retreats are so important, but they needs to be more than just resting and remaining idle. They must be Holy. It must also be a time of Holy reflection and listening followed by action.

    Breaking up or subsoiling the hardpan in our lives is another matter entirely. In my view, hardpan is some deep seated spiritual issue of the heart like unforgiveness, a deep seated hurt, or a secret sin. In order to be fruitful, we have to break this up by forgiving, letting go, and confessing. This why God loves a contrite heart. We must be broken in order to be healed and rendered fruitful. Lord let it be so with me!