Plowing On Rock
Amos 6:12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:
I. The Symbolism
A. Of the Ox
- 1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Just a word to clarify: Oxen are always male. There’s no such thing as a female ox.
He didn’t say thou shalt not muzzle the cow; or the heifer; he symbolized the preacher with an ox.
B. Of the Plow
- Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Jesus likened a man using a plow to those that forsake all and follow Him.
The plow in Amos 6:12 symbolizes the execution of a commission; fulfilling a duty and a calling.
If the oxen is a symbol of the preacher, then the plow would be a symbol of his preaching.
For centuries God’s men have been encouraged to “plow the Gospel plow”.
Encouraged to plow deep. To plow straight. To plow close.
When the man of God is up preaching, he’s plowing the field.
He will plow up your row.
God commanded the nation of Israel to
- Jeremiah 4:3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
- Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
Fallow: unplowed; untilled ground
Before the seed can be planted; before there can be a harvest; before there can be fruitfulness, SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO PLOW!
C. Of the Rock
Anything that is hard, unyielding, unmoving.
Anything that is a hindrance.
Stones and rocks have to go before a field can be fruitful.
- 2 Kings 3:19 And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.
- 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
- 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
II. The Struggle
Shall horses run? No traction
Having a horse that cannot run.
Shall oxen plow? No soil.
You can break up fallow ground. You can’t break up rock with a plow.
Having an ox that cannot plow.
Having a plow but cannot sow seed or produce a harvest
- 1 Samuel 25:37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
Nabal became as a stone.
Notice how he was before that:
LOOK at 1 Samuel 25
- 2 – a man of great possessions
- 2 – a hard-working man
- 3 – had a beautiful wife of good understanding
- 3 – Churlish: hard, cruel, severe, obstinate, hard, difficult, stubborn, stiff of neck, stiff-necked
- 3 – Evil in his doings – sad, unhappy, unkind, unpleasant, disagreeable, miserable, malignant
- 10, 11 – responds to kindness with rudeness
- 10, 11 – diminished the leader to his young men
- 10, 11 – doesn’t appreciate anything that is done for him or his family
- 14, 15 – has a reputation of “railing” on people that has been good to him – RAIL: to scream; to shriek
- 15 – never participated in any conversation with David or his men
- 16 – did not appreciate the “wall” – the additional protection for his family and belongings
- 17 – was called a “son of Belial” by his own servants
- 17 – was known as a man that no other man could even speak to
- 18, 19 – his wife had a giving heart, but she could not tell her husband
- 21 – David was angry because all his kindness was in his opinion “surely in vain”.
- 21 – Nabal’s wife knew how to talk to David, even though Nabal didn’t
- 25 – Nabal’s wife admitted she was married to a fool (Nabal: fool)
- 29 – Nabal’s wife knew everything there was to know about David; Nabal didn’t (vs. 10)
- 29 – Nabal’s wife knew that David could relate to her reference to a sling.
- 30 – Nabal’s wife knew that he had been anointed – Nabal didn’t know nor care.
- 31 – even under stress and in fear, she was able to give David blessed advice
- 35 – she knew how to get David to listen to her even when he was upset and discouraged
- 37 – it killed him to find out that his wife had intervened;
- 37 – his heart was dead a long time before he was
- 39 – David was only able to commune with Nabal’s family after he was dead
III. The Solution
The only solution found in the Word of God to the stony ground is:
A steady diet of the Word of God
- Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
God can work supernaturally to transform a man’s heart.
- Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
- Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.