Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by John D. Clark, Sr.
"And they shall hear Jezreel."
Isaiah prophesied that those who trusted in Christ Jesus would "be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord" (Isa. 61:3). Using this same metaphor, Jesus said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up." Then, if we are to have a place in the kingdom of God, we must be planted, or sown, into the kingdom of God by God Himself.
"Jezreel" was the name of an ancient Israelite city, and it is a word that means, "God will sow", or "the sowing of God". When Hosea said, "They will hear Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the earth," he was prophesying of what happened in Acts 2:4, when the seed of God was sown into the hearts of Jesus' disciples. They were "filled with holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." This pentecostal event was God sowing His seed on the earth, planting men and women into His kingdom. Hosea's prophecy that people would hear Jezreel was fulfilled when the people heard the Spirit speak in tongues through Jesus' disciples (Acts 2:6-8)!
Hosea's prophecy of hearing God's seed being sown is similar to Jesus' description of the new birth in John 3:8. According to Jesus, the one consistent feature involved in every "new birth" experience is the sound of it. He said, "The wind blows where it will, and you hear its sound . . . so is every one who is born of the Spirit." This is exactly what the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost, and it is what Hosea foretold when he said, "they shall hear the sowing of God [Jezreel]."
One would think that since Jezreel was a city, Hosea would have said, "They will see Jezreel". But God was not using "Jezreel" as the name of the city but as what the word actually means, "God will sow". "Jezreel" is something one hears because when God sows His Spirit into someone's heart, that person begins to speak in tongues, and others hear what God is doing.
That is the "sound" of the wind that Jesus said accompanied every new birth. It is the "baptism of the holy ghost" which was poured out on Pentecost morning. It is the "stammering lips" of Isaiah 28:11. It is the "pure language" of Zephaniah 3:9. It is Paul's cry of "Abba, Father" and the "groaning which man cannot utter." It is Peter's "answer of a clear conscience". It is David's "joyful sound", which wise men recognize when they hear it. It is John's "confession that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh". It is the "voice from the temple" of God in heaven, the "voice of the Lord that renders recompense unto His enemies." It is the "deep" that "calls to deep at the noise of [God's] waterspouts." It is the "river of living water, springing up to everlasting life". It is the speaking that comes because of believing, foretold in Psalm 116:10. It is the voice of the Son, declaring the name of his Father "in the midst of the congregation" (Ps. 22:22). It is the Spirit "making intercession for the saints according to the will of God." It is the "testimony of the Lord", the "blessing of the Lord", the "sign to unbelievers", the "manifestation of the Spirit" which is given to every believer "for the common good." It is the Father "knowing them that are His" and setting them apart as His peculiar people. This is Jezreel, "the sowing of God". This is the work of God that must be heard, for it "does not come with observation." Praise God in the highest!
Humans reproduce by means of human "seed", but the seed of God is the holy Spirit. He creates sons and daughters by giving them His Spirit. Jesus warned that we "must be born again," and we are born into the family of God when the Seed of God, the holy Spirit, enters into our hearts, or "baptizes" us into the family of God. Water baptism has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of the heart.
In the Old Testament, a person was an Israelite because he was born an Israelite. In this New Testament, a person becomes part of "the Israel of God" by being born a second time, in spirit. Peter described this as "being born again, not of corruptible [human] seed, but of incorruptible seed, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever" (1Pet. 1:23). Centuries before the Spirit came, Hosea (1:10) prophesied that God would create a new people for Himself, a new kind of Israel:
The number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it will come to pass that in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," there it shall be said to them, "You are the sons of the living God."
Jesus never married in the flesh, but he has a bride! He never produced any offspring in the flesh, but by the Spirit, he has children (Isa. 8:18). God's people are His "pleasant plants", Isaiah said, and every time He sows someone into His vineyard, "the Spirit bears witness"; that is, we "hear Jezreel"; that is, we hear God's seed, the Spirit, speaking in tongues through the newly-born child of God.
Oh, Jezreel! Jezreel! The beautiful day of the Lord, when He sowed His seed of life in my soul and planted me in His heavenly kingdom!
Jezreel! The sowing of God, the translation of a sinful soul "out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God's dear Son." Jezreel, the field of God's planting, the vineyard of God where men become more than men, and peace is laid to the roots of the trees! The rain of God falls upon Jezreel; the flowers of His tender mercies line the paths to her gates. Oh, Jezreel, the hope of the earth, the gift of God, the fountain of eternal joy! May God ever enlarge your borders, and may your watchmen ever mind their posts without fear. Let the gates of Jezreel be kept secure! Let her virgins dance, and her young men sing for joy! Let Jezreel be heard from the mountaintops, and let the enemies of the Lord tremble at the sound!
Let every heart trust in God and every hand be raised! For God has done according to His word. He has rescued the isles from the seas. God has picked us up and sown us into His kingdom, where He walks in His garden in the cool of the day, and His voice is heard in the gatherings of the saints.
How blessed are we that God has chosen us to be His children! It is only to His glory that He has done that which He purposed to do upon those who knew nothing and cared nothing for Him. "We love him", John wrote, "because he first loved us." The foolish often ridicule hungry souls who repent and "ask, seek and knock" for the baptism of the holy Spirit, but every time that holy seed of God is planted in a heart, another regenerated soul cries out "Abba Father" and Jezreel, God's sowing, is heard! And when that happens, all who truly know God say together,
"GREAT IS THE DAY OF JEZREEL!"