What Does Soil Represent in the Bible?
Soil represents a variety of things. It can be the ground where seeds sprout, the rock or hard ground where a seed cannot be sown. The soil can also be deep, subtle, or hard. In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways soil is represented in the Bible.
Hard ground prevents seeds from sprouting
In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, we learn that hard ground prevents seeds from sprouting. Hard ground is where the seed does not get the soil needed for sprouting, and it is a place where birds can eat the seeds. Hard ground is the place where the Word of God does not reach. This hard ground is characterized by competing thorns. The seed may be good, but the ground must be good before it can sprout.
Just as hard ground prevents seeds from sprouting, hard heart is a soil that does not take root. Unlike good soil, hard hearts will not yield fruit unless it is prepared. We can’t prevent hard hearts from hardening, but we can pray for them and let them be softened.
The hard ground that prevents seeds from sprouting is similar to rocky ground. Seeds planted on good soil take root and flourish, and eventually produce multiple seeds. In fact, one seed could yield thirty, sixty, or one hundred additional seeds. That would be a great yield for Galilee!
Rocks unable to be tilled
If we study the New Testament communities, it is clear that agricultural practices were common in these societies. Families were assigned sections of land to farm. To avoid trampling over neighboring crops, farmers would walk along the boundaries of neighboring fields. This path was held in common by all farmers. As a result, the soil on this path compacted over time. Because the soil was hard and compacted, seed planted there would not germinate.
The Parable of the Sower tells us about the four types of soil. The Sower spreads seed on four different kinds of soil: good soil, rocky soil, and among thorns. This Parable has many implications. It can lead us to change the way we live our lives.
The deep response to soil in the Bible relates to the way people react to God’s Word. In Scripture, two different types of soil are described. These soils differ by the degree of willingness to receive God’s Word and seed. Jesus puts the responsibility of the response on the hearer.
Good soil is rich and productive. Seeds planted in this soil yield a rich crop. In the parable of the sower, this soil yields a hundredfold crop, which would have grabbed the attention of Jesus’ listeners. This soil represents the people who hear the Gospel, follow Jesus, and have deep roots and guarded hearts. The deep response to soil is what will produce the abundant crop.
The soil of our hearts is very important. Without a deep response to soil, we cannot grow spiritual fruit. We must understand that we are all fallible. We must be aware of our limitations, and the ways that we are prone to sin and failure.