April 10

Text: Matthew 13:3, 5, 6

"Behold, the sower went out to sow; . . . and others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.  But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (NASB)

The parable does not say what kind of rocky soil the seed fell on.  Consider a situation that is easily illustrated—a ledge of rock under shallow soil.  The principle will work in any planting situation where there is lots of rock and little soil.

The seed is sown on promising soil.  However, there is a problem.  Near the surface is a ledge of rock.  The soil looks fine.  There is no rock to be seen.  However the soil is too shallow to support plant life when the rain declines and the temperature gets hot!

In the spring with frequent rain that area looks so promising!  It is the first location to sprout plants.  The combination of lots of rain and warm soil generates a perfect germination situation.  The early sun warms the shallow soil as the rock retains heat.  The seed sprouts and grows quickly.  This area has a green cast before the rest of the field sprouts.  In the spring it is shocking to see the fast growth!

Then summer comes.  The rain is less frequent; available water is less abundant.  The rock continues to retain the sun’s heat.  Roots begin to cook.  Plants die.  The area that looked so promising withers.  The promising area in spring’s ideal conditions becomes the dead brown of summer’s heat.

In ideal conditions—no opposition to faith in God’s work in Jesus, no prices to pay for faith—these people find it easy to place faith in God’s work.  However, the prices paid for faith in God’s work are like the combination of shallow soil and scorching heat.

Again, do not miss the point.  There was nothing wrong with the seed or the soil.  The problem was the shallowness.  Depth would have produced fruit; shallowness produced death.  Life is never lived in the ideal situations of desire and dreams—there are always prices to be paid and the attempted evasions of unwanted responsibility.

Suggestion for reflection: How do YOU measure faith’s depth?  (Read 2 Timothy 4:9-12.)

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