Humus or Hardpan
Probably one of the most popular parables by which Jesus Christ taught, was the Sower and the seed. It can be found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is one of the few parables that the Lord explained in detail to His disciples.
Jesus clearly stated that the “seed is the Word” and that it is good seed. There is nothing lacking in the Word of God that it should be altered in any way. It is the constant in the experiment. The sower is the person that broadcasts the seed. This person could be a pastor, evangelist, teacher, missionary or someone being a witness or giving a testimony.
The variable in the parable is the condition of the soil upon which the seed falls. There are outside hindrances to the growth and fruitfulness of the seed such as fowls of the air, and the thorns. Jesus explained them in the context. The tilth of the soil is what I want to address here. Tilth is the condition and composition of the soil that makes it favourable to fruitful planting.
I grew up in Northwest Ohio and our family had a vegetable garden every summer to supplement Mom’s grocery order. The soil was very fertile there but because of the clay in the soil it could get very hard. Some of the fields Dad plowed he called “Hardpan” because of the amount of the clay in the soil. At times he had to hook both tractors to one two-bottom plow to break up that hardpan. The soil where I live now is fertile as well but I must constantly add loamy manure and humus to it because it is so sandy. Tillage includes manuring, plowing, harrowing, (interesting word) or whatever is done to condition soil to receive the seed, destroy weeds and loosen the soil.
Going back to the parable, we need to pay attention to the condition of our heart to receive the word and be fruitful. Is your heart hardpan or is it humus? Hardpan is a hardened layer of clay that only gets harder as it is worked; or maybe the heart of a person resisting God’s Word. Humus is light workable soil; or the heart of a person who admits they are sinful and need the Saviour. How much plowing and harrowing and manuring does your heart need to bring it back to fruitfulness?
He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread:
but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.