Soil Analysis

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:1–9)

We have recorded for us in the Synoptic Gospels a parable of the soil. I do believe it is significant the Master uses the concept of soil since the Hebrew words for man אדם (Adam) and soil אדמה (Adamah) are derived from the same word אדם (adam). 

With the above in mind it is not a far stretch to realize that the condition of the soil is likened to the condition of the life of a human being. How the seed (the Word of G-d) is received and transformed into productivity for the Kingdom is determined by the condition of our hearts and minds.

Do we want to be productive for the Kingdom's sake? How would we classify ourselves? What kind of ground would we most likely represent?

Soil Analyzation

Good Soil - While not all good soil produces equally (30, 60, 100) what is common is that the individuals hear and accept the word. Acceptance is defined in Mark and Luke as one who accepts the Word. They “hold fast to the Word with an honest and good heart” (Luke 8:15). What does it mean to accept the Word? How do we accept it with an honest and good heart and transform those words into action?

Bad Soil - The characteristic of this soil is one that contains thorns and thistles. How then are we to understand these thorns and thistles in a human being's life? Isaiah gives us direction in chapter 32. Within the chapter he contrasts the life of the righteous individual and the one that practices ungodliness. Isaiah equates the desolate, thorny land with individuals who are foolish, ungodly, iniquitous and complacent. These characteristics would essentially be summed up as one who is foolish and complacent enough to care more for the world and who would be derailed by the interest of acquiring wealth and seeking gain in this life.

Stony Soil - Like the thorny soil, this soil contains an object that we would consider foreign and not conducive to healthy growth. Yeshua tells us that a plant would grow in this soil but as soon as adversity is experienced it would wither up and become nothing.

Both the thorns and the rocks are "internal" to the soil. This internalization should be viewed as people who become stiff necked and hard hearted. The Israelites are chastised as they journey through the wilderness for their constant complaining to the adverse environment. Ultimately that generation died out without entering into the land.

Wayside Soil - The seed that happens to fall on this soil is snatched up by the birds. Remember that one of the jobs of the enemy is to steal. What is common to all three accounts is that this ground receives it with no real intention. The ground is not prepared therefore it doesn't receive the seed. Jeremiah likens the solid ground that hasn't been prepared as the one who's heart is uncircumcised.

Jer 4:3-4 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: "Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem..." 

Perhaps the best example would be that of Pharaoh who could hear the Word of G-d spoken by the prophet to no avail.

What is your dirt like?