Hidden in the beautiful story of Hosea is a portion of a scripture that simply says, "Judah shall plow". It is in Hosea 10:11. Now, why would this have anything to do with worship? It seems more like farming commands or a punishment for a wayward son than worship.
Well, I was at a wonderful Christian Dance Ministry conference years ago when I heard Dr. Pamela Hardy speak on this very tiny piece of Hosea…Judah, shall plow. This is what she shared…
IT'S ALL ABOUT THAT PRAISE
Judah means praise. To plow means to scratch or engrave as with tools, to prepare the soil to receive seed. Look at this again now from a spiritual perspective. Praise, YOUR praise, plows…it prepares the soil of our hearts to receive. Our praise plows the hard earth of our hearts, it digs down, it makes an imprint in the sand of our hearts, and prepares it for the seed. What is the seed? The seed is the Word of God, which we are to plant in our hearts.
So, worshippers, begin to look at your praise, your worship, as a means of preparation. When you lead worship, you are helping to make the heart ready to receive the Word by helping people enter into God’s presence, where He can deal with the fallow ground of their hearts; where He alone can take His hands and remove the stones, the hardness, and weeds, and prepare us to receive more of Him.
Our worship makes room for God to come and abide with us. God inhabits the praises of His people. In one culture, they say it this way, “Our praise creates a big chair for God to come and sit with us.” I love that!
ENTER IN WITH JUDAH
So, let’s choose to enter into the Holy of Holies. As we enter, let’s leave the door open for others to come and enter into His presence with us. Let’s allow God to prepare us for more of Him. Let Judah plow. When we let it, we are changed. And, isn’t that what an encounter with the living God is supposed to do? Change us?
Let’s help those that we minister to receive more of God by showing them the way into His presence. To be a minister is to empty yourself, to pour out your heart as an offering before God - not the congregation. As we keep our hearts and minds fixed on Him, they’ll follow us right into His presence.