My bible study group is going through the parable of sower and the soils, which I find is very important in relation to our SPIRITUAL growth. That's the driving force for me to share with you.
For those who want to read this parable, you may refer to the relevant verses from the Scripture as shown below:-
a) Matthew 13: 3-8;
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
b) Mark 4: 3-8
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air[a] came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
c) Luke 8: 5-8
5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
From the above parables, Jesus was drawing the analogy SEED to the GOSPEL and SOIL to those who hear the gospel. He portrayed that the key to spiritual growth is condition of the HEART of the person receiving or hearing the GOSPEL.
Let us study through together and at the same time, examine and evaluate our hearts honestly to ascertain which type of soils our hearts will fit into:-
In the parable, Jesus reiterated that there are four types of conditions of soil as follows:-
1. The hard-packed soil.
Jesus is describing the situation where there is essentially no chance for the seed germinating because of hardness of the ground. The seed eventually become bird feed instead.
He refers this soil to those whose hearts are hardened and impenetrable. GOSPEL has no chance of growing just like the seed fallen on a hard-packed soil.
These group of people do not understand the Gospel because they simply refuse to do so.
2. Soil that was shallow
The seed would germinate quickly on such ground because it grows rapidly but there was no depth! As a result, it becomes weak and could not withstand the resistance.
This apply to those who have a SHALLOW HEART and are drawn to the blessings of salvation. However when hardship and adversity arises, they usually complain and search for alternate spiritual utopia.
3 Soil hat was filled with weeds
You may know that weeds are very easy to grow. It is very hard to detect them in early stage because they blend in so well with the plants. And if left unchecked, they will begin to choke the life of the sprout. The weeds will flourish whereas the plant dies.
Here, WEEDY SOIL refers to those who are too busy with other interests which are of lesser importance. The weeds will eventually overwhelm their spiritual life.
4 GOOD SOIL (the fertile soil)
The good ground was deep; fertile and soft where the seed could gain entry. It could find nourishment and yield crop.
GOOD SOIL refers to those who are not only receptive to Gospel, but hungry for it. As such, they grow and bear fruit.
I hope the above discussion have given you an insight of the four different soils. It is worthy to note that they may not necessary refer to four different types of people, but they may also apply to four different responses within the same person as well. In reality, we may respond to God differently depending upon the situation we are in, contentment or frustration at the particular moment of time.
May I sum up this discussion with the Psalmist below.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” I pray in Jesus' wonderful name. Amen.