The Farmer's Almanac of Heaven by Steve Wagers

The Farmer's Almanac of Heaven
Pastor Steve N. Wagers
Hosea 10:12
August 23. 2009

Sermon Outline
1. A Tragedy to be Feared!
A) A Prevalent Tragedy
B) A Personal Tragedy
2. A Truth to be Followed!
A) Intently
B) Immediately
3. A Treasure to be Found!
A) A Personal Visitation
B) A Precious Revelation

The Farmers' Almanac was founded in Morristown, New Jersey, and has been a nationwide publication since 1818. It is famous for its long-range weather predictions and astronomical data, as well as its trademark blend of humor, trivia, and advice on gardening, cooking, fishing, and human-interest crusades.

The book of Hosea is what James Montgomery Boice calls, "The second greatest story in the Bible." It is a story which depicts the nation of Israel as an adulteress. She has played the part of the harlot, but God, in His mercy, is willing to buy her back, and restore her into fellowship.

Both Hosea and Amos were contemporaries who preached in the Northern Kingdom to a nation, described in verse 1 as an "empty vine." They have watched this great nation plummet into degradation.

But, in Hosea 10:12, the prophet delivers a message that is just as powerful, pertinent and practical to Israel as it is to the church today.

What the farmer's almanac is to the farmer, Hosea's word could be the farmer's almanac of Heaven. It outlines how to prepare the soil and plant the seed in order to receive the rain from Heaven and reap the harvest.

1. A TRAGEDY to be FEARED!

"Break up your fallow ground."

It's interesting to note that the prophet gives devoted attention to this tragedy.

A) A PREVALENT Tragedy

[2] "Heart is divided."

The word "divided" is the Hebrew word chalaq, and was often used in reference to a person's speech. Whenever someone spoke with "divided," or chalaq speech, the idea was that they were double-tongued or smooth talker.

The idea is that the people were going through the motions of saying one thing and doing another. Their hearts were divided between the Word and the world.

Boice comments, "She was coming to the shrines of Jehovah pretending to worship Him. She would have said that Jehovah was god, but while she was saying this, she was multiplying false altars and dedicating "sacred stones." She would have said that these were for God, but God had not commanded them; hence, God would not accept them." [1]

This is a prevalent condition today. Few would dare to deny the reality of a holy God, but many only come to church to go through the motions of religiosity, not to have an encounter with a holy God. In other words, many honor Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.

By the time we come to verse 10, we find that the hearts that were once divided have now become "fallow ground." The word "fallow" refers to ground that is untillable.

Fallow ground is not ‘virgin' soil, but ground that lain idle and has become full of weeds. It is hard ground. I ...


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