Read 2 Chronicles 26
Focus on verse 10
It is interesting what things stick in one’s memory over the years. This verse about Uzziah being one who “loved the soil” reminds me of something my father did many years ago. I do not know exactly why this sticks in my memory…perhaps it is because I knew how awkward he felt when he was called upon to speak publically. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and he had been asked to share something that he was thankful for in the morning service. I thought it was weird at the time because I was too young to understand, but he brought a small handful of earth from the garden along with him, and he spoke of how he was thankful for the soil. Since then I learned how much my father loved the soil. He was a farmer all his life, and I don’t believe he ever desired to be anything else. He loved the miracle of sowing and reaping, and though I know it stressed him at times when the weather did not cooperate, I believe he also learned to appreciate his dependency on the Lord in that regard.
Uzziah had many farmers and vinedressers for he loved the soil. In that culture, agriculture was the foundation of the wealth and survival of the nation. In some regard it continues to be so even today. The backbone of the world’s economy will always be the farmer, as without someone to manage the production of food, we would all starve to death eventually. It is a great asset to have manufacturing and technological industry to boost the economy but the bottom line is…we can’t eat money, or computers, or most of the other things our economy produces… we need bread and milk and fruits and vegetables that for the most part are produced by farmers.
It has been a long time since I lived on a farm. I don’t think I would want to go back to farming as a livelihood, but every spring I still get the urge to plant something, and in fall when I can smell the dust of the harvesters in the air I miss the farm. Perhaps the saying is true – “you can take the boy off the farm, but you can never quite take the farm out of the boy.” I am thankful for the opportunity to grow up on a family farm, and I am thankful that there are still men and women who love the soil enough to give their lives to feeding the rest of us.