Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD…
If we "sow for righteousness," that is, if our efforts are directed to embodying it in our lives, "we shall reap according to mercy." That is true universally, whether it is taken to mean God's mercy to us, or ours to others. The aim after righteousness ever secures the Divine favour, and usually ensures the measure which we mete being measured to us again. But sowing is not all; thorns must be grubbed up. We must not only turn over a new leaf, but tear out the old one. The old man must be slain if the new man is to live. The call to amend finds its warrant in the assurance that there is still time to seek the Lord, and that for all His threatenings, He is ready to rain blessings upon the seekers. The unwearying patience of God, the possibility of the worst sinner's repentance, the conditional nature of the threatenings, the yet deeper thought that righteousness must come from above, are all condensed in this brief Gospel before the Gospel.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.