Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. (Luke 8:6, 13 NASB)
The soil for today's consideration is rocky soil. Rocky soil is great for allowing drainage, but bad for holding water. In an arid land with little rainfall, rocky soil is deadly for seeds. In this particular soil, there is enough nourishment and moisture in the soil to allow sprouting. If extra water were provided, the seed could likely make it to fruition. Without extra care, however, the sprout will wither and die. When the withering begins, there is a point where an infusion of water can still revive the plant, but the window of opportunity is small.
Jesus compared the seed that fell on rocky soil to those who hear the word of God, receive it joyfully, and are full of enthusiasm about their salvation. They do not develop firmly anchored roots, however, and succumb to temptation when it comes.
They are like a withered seedling in desperate need of water. Used to symbolize a variety of things in Scripture, water likely symbolizes the Spirit of God here. In John 7:37-39, Jesus speaks of living water by which men would never thirst again as a description of the Holy Spirit. Knowing that, the reason for the withering becomes apparent, doesn't it? The new believer embraces his new-found faith with enthusiasm but never allows the Holy Spirit to help him grow or help him resist temptation. Without the aid of the Spirit's indwelling, it is impossible to have victory over sin, as he soon finds.
Once withering begins, an infusion of the Spirit can bring refreshment to his soul and joy back to his heart. Unfortunately, that early foray back into the "old life" can be very difficult to leave. I'm not sure we, as the church, have done all we should to help new believers access the Spirit-aid they need to grow to fruition.
What about us? Have we allowed the withering to begin in our own lives? Are our loved ones "withering"?
Pray today that we and our loved ones will get still before The Lord and allow Him to send streams of Living Water to refresh our souls.
Link to last night's post (first in the Praying for Terrorists series) is here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/06/praying-for-terrorists-ayman-al-zawahiri.html
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