Satan Hates Seeds of Truth
As we start the 'parable of the Sower' (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus' first word is for us, "Listen!" (Mark 7:14). How often do we skim-read the Bible, perhaps because we assume that God has nothing more to say to us than we already know? Speed-reading is useless when it comes to understanding the Bible. So, just for a moment, slow down and let each of the words come alive. Pay full attention to get a clear understanding!
In this parable, God's Word is likened to seed. Although very small, each seed has the potential to release its internal DNA to become a huge plant, or crop. The key to a good crop is placing the seed in good soil. In this parable the soil is a metaphor for human hearts, which are designed to respond to His truth. The first 'soil-type' mentioned is the path.
Paths are created by continual trampling of the same line of soil until it is compressed and hard. People can be like that too. People with hard hearts have often been emotionally beaten flat through life's circumstances and often resist God's Word, rejecting the possibility of a different future. The potential of hard-hearted soil to receive gospel-seed, and allow good growth, is greatly reduced by the pressures of living in a corrupt world. They may be successful in business, but they are hard inside. Although the gospel-seed has full growth potential in itself, it cannot easily gain a foothold in a hard heart (Zechariah 7:12). In the heavy traffic of life many work colleagues will scarcely notice God speaking to them.
We cannot tell in which heart the seed will germinate and thrive. So, we have to 'broadcast' (a term originally used for flinging out handfuls of seed) God's Word, without necessarily knowing where it will lodge, germinate and flourish. It is hard work which needs determination to complete. We know that the Word will bring new life to all who believe it and respond to Jesus. Satan knows that too and hates the very idea. In the agricultural picture of this parable, Satan is a master crow, a scavenging bird swallowing any truth that is left unobeyed on the surface of somebody’s life (Luke 8:12).
Should we then stop trying to broadcast the Word to any and everybody, with the apparent waste of time and resources? Some Christians think that only people who have grown up in the church can receive Christ, like seed hand-placed into pre-prepared seed trays. No! Most of us cannot use a radio or TV station (although your Word@Work email is a sort of broadcast, as is www.crosscheck.org.uk), but we can speak/write/email God's Word, give tracts, post notices, have verses on our greetings cards and email signatures. Best of all is when we speak God's truth into each situation we encounter – unashamed and unafraid of the response - showing that the truth is not just our idea, but we have got it from the Bible (Romans 1:16). When we speak gospel truth, some seed will germinate (2 Timothy 4:2). So, keep on sowing!
© Dr Paul Adams