Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stony Ground

In a single photo taken at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens I see an opportunity to review a parable as well as enjoy designed beauty.

In the lower left of the first photo there is a small plant, the only sign of life in the rocky outcropping.

And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. (Mark 4:2-6 KJV)

The disciples didn’t understand the analogy.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. (Mark 4:10 KJV)

Questions remain in my mind regarding His answer.

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: (Mark 4:11 KJV)

To whom was it given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God? The disciples didn’t understand until He explained the parable.

And, is there hope for these … which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. (Mark 4:16-17 KJV)

In nature there are many plants that thrive in stony ground, roots always seeking through tiny cracks to reach nourishment. Enlarging those cracks with growth. Isn’t is possible for those seeds sown on stony ground to bear fruit? As shown in the second photo, some are very aged.

Solomon is speaking of wisdom here, though I also think it applies to God:

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17 KJV)

Though the ground be rocky and the nourishment requires reaching, growth in God’s love and in His will is possible. This is what Moses told those who left Egypt:

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (Deuteronomy 4:29-30 KJV)

Thus we follow Isaiah’s advice. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (Isaiah 55:6 KJV)

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