7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;
Verses 7 and 8 give an illustration from nature of the points made in the first six verses. The illustration of the field contrasts two types of land—fertile (6:7) and barren (6:8). Those who “fall away” are like the barren field. That kind of field is burned. These verses contrast fruitful believers with unfruitful. The unfruitful believer is that way because he has a case of arrested spiritual development.
These verses give an agricultural illustration that provides a spiritual truth. Fruit in the Christian life has the blessing of God. God rejects non-productive Christian living. Verses 7 and 8 contrast the growing believer with the stagnant one. Verse 7 characterizes the Christian who is growing toward maturity, whereas verse 8 depicts the stagnant Christian who does not produce because he is immature.
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it,
The picture here is of rain-soaked ground. This is soil where the rain does not remain on the surface. This rain comes “often” upon the ground. This is an analogy of the believer who appropriates God’s operating principles for life and applies them to his experience. It is crucial to drink in God’s Word.
The “earth” is by analogy the believer. He can produce two different crops: a good crop or a poor yield such as “thorns and briers” (He 6:8). The principle here is that we are to operate on the New Testament economy, in which Christ has made every provision for us to live the Christian life. We are not to revert to any other system. Once we acquire principles from the Word about how to live life and apply them to our experience, we will be productive in Christian living.
and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated,
A rain-soaked ground produces herbs. It is productive because those who farm on it make use of its richness. The believer who operates exclusively on New Testament principles will be productive in his life.
receives blessing from God;
Christians are productive in their lives because they live by God’s principles. It is like blessings showered from God. Rain represents God’s care, provisions, and blessings for the believer. His grace is necessary for the spiritual growth of the believer.
Those who are in phase with God’s will experience divine favor.
Those who apply the principles of Scripture to themselves in a maximum way are mature; they are productive in their lives. They will experience God’s favor and blessing on their lives.
Believers who “fall away” forfeit God’s blessing in their lives. They also experience temporal discipline, although not loss of eternal life.