Useful Crop? Or Thorns & Thistles?

Posted in Encouragement, Faith, For Meditation on  | 3 minutes | 7 Comments →

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and in danger of being cursed. —Hebrews 6:7,8

The writer of this text chose a good analogy. The analogy is given under the subheading of “warnings against falling away,” and the writer deems it a teaching of maturity. (v.1) We find a few components: land, the rain that falls on it, the act of drinking, the crop, those for whom the crop is farmed and the farmer. The way I see it, the land is us. The rain that falls on the land is the work and revelation of the Holy Spirit. The act of drinking in this rain signifies obedience and cooperation. The crop is the result. Those for whom it is farmed are other people. The farmer is YHWH.

Without rain, no land can produce a useful crop. This is the work and revelation of the Holy Spirit, the great Counselor. The Holy Spirit speaks in the deepest recesses of our intuition. His voice is subtle yet uncompromising, and aims to “guide us into all truth.” The inference is that we won’t produce if we don’t drink. In order to do the will of YHWH, it must be revealed to us through Scripture or the Holy Spirit. Sometimes He speaks with conviction, sometimes with warning and other times with encouragement. My last post, Time Is Short, struck me as an instance of warning.

For example, let’s say you did something really selfish. Then you come across James 3:16, which reads, “for where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Then the Holy Spirit convicts you of your selfishness. You suddenly know in your heart that what you did was wrong. Or perhaps you’ve had this persistent gut feeling to stop doing something or start doing something. These are ways the Spirit speaks: sometimes a gentle nudge, sometimes a forceful conviction, always towards righteousness and away from sin.

The crop is the result, and the crop says everything about the quality and effectiveness of the land. The text gives only two examples of crop because there are only two types: a useful crop, or thorns and thistles. Every action that you take, every action you decide not to take, yields either useful crop or thorns and thistles. Crop will differ according to it’s land, but plainly stated, useful crop is the result of obedience to His specific, revealed will for your life. Useful crops yield righteousness. It might be time spent in prayer, or reading and meditating on Scripture. It might be generosity or giving to someone in need. It may simply be the act of speaking a word of encouragement. It might be not doing certain things. Producing useful crop means keeping in step with the Spirit, which reduces to obedience.

Note that the word “often” is included in verse 7. YHWH sends rain, and He sends it often. What farmer would not want his land to produce a bountiful crop? Likewise, YHWH has a specific crop in mind for each plot of His land. He wants them all to flourish and thrive at the maximum level. Our time is important, and what we do with our time reveals our priorities and attitudes towards YHWH. Let us analyze our actions this past week. Are we drinking in the rain that often falls on us? Are we producing useful crop? Or thorns and thistles?


  1. dale



    I’m liking the turn towards more the spirit as accepted reality focused posts as of recent, versus the traffic jams of atheist vs theists debates that seemed so prevalent prior.

    I am, though, curious in regards to a specific point of your posts. I’m noticing a strong focus on YHWH, even more so than Christ or the Holy Spirit. Is there a specific reason for this? I’m just genuinely interested and without motivation for this, other than as I said.

  2. cl


    Thanks. It’s odd, because readership drops when I post like this. That suggests to me that people are more interested (a)theist arguing than the nitty-gritty of the Spirit. Kinda sad, but… I intend to keep moving in this direction regardless of readership. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still challenge atheist error, but, the focus is changing.

    I’m noticing a strong focus on YHWH, even more so than Christ or the Holy Spirit. Is there a specific reason for this? I’m just genuinely interested and without motivation for this, other than as I said.

    The short answer is, I’m trying to get back to the roots and see things as the patriarchs, Messiah and the apostles saw them. All I’ve done is replace “God” with YHWH and “Jesus” with Yeshua. They never used the word “God,” which, as far as I know, is ultimately pagan in origin. Don’t get me wrong: this is just how I feel, I’m not trying issue some new revelation or teaching. The Holy Spirit knows our hearts and who we refer to, whether we say YHWH or God, Yeshua or Jesus, but, I just don’t feel very comfortable using “God” anymore. This isn’t just for reverence concerns, either. If somebody says “God,” they can mean almost anything from a generic deistic “creator” to a warm, fuzzy feeling in their tummy. YHWH is far more specific, and, I feel, more reverent. “Jesus” is a little different, as it doesn’t suffer from the same ambiguity of “God.” I hope that helps.

    Though I welcome you to investigate all this, because last time I did some etymology I apparently made a mistake. See my claim about the word “Catholic” here, and James’ refutation here.

  3. dale



    When it comes to atheists, I’ve been really feeling Revelations 22:10-20, especially…

    11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.

    People are people. The faithful will be faithful, and those that aren’t will not. The blind will stay blind, unless they pray for sight. We can only pray for them and beg them to see only so much.

    C’est la vie…truly.

    In regards to YHWH, I was just curious. I just noticed a change.

    I have been having much thoughts come to me lately and do have some points I would like to talk to you about, but , maybe in person. I’m fleshing out my readings further every day. And, I do have to admit, I am questioning certain things, especially regarding the Old Testament.

    Fear not, my faith in the Messianic Truth of Jesus Christ, or brother Yeshua grows only stronger every day, blessed is the Holy Spirit and our Father which art in heaven!

  4. cl


    Sounds interesting, keep me posted… and feel free to share as much as you feel comfortable with here, as I’m sure others are interested in what you have to say as well.

  5. dale



    I will. :-)

  6. dale



    i’m questioning the old and new testament in regards to:

    john 5:37 (NIV) Jesus speaking:
    And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form

    working with :

    exodus 33:11 (NIV)
    The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.

  7. cl


    Context solves that one easily, in my opinion. Jesus was talking to the Jewish leaders in John 5:37. They never experienced the Father like Moses did. Right? Or, am I overlooking something?

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