We’ve had several nights with temperatures in the low twenties, so needless to say, our gardening has ended for the year and the trees are also in a beautiful array with their many hues of red, orange and yellow. We have one street in town that is bordered on both sides from end to end with a variety of maples, mountain ash and other colorful deciduous trees that are spectacular right now (Louisiana, for you locals!). I love this time of year with the cool, crisp, clear days and God’s art display of color.
As I wrote in an earlier “Wisdom of the Week,” our labels fell off our little pots in which we had started our vines for the garden, so harvest time was quite interesting. We had winter squash growing with the pumpkins and pumpkins in with the zucchini and I believe may have developed some new hybrid “squakins!” But, one thing I do know, we wouldn’t have had any harvest if we had not first sown the seeds for our corn, beans, peas, carrots, cucumbers, squash, potatoes, etc. I also know that if we planted corn, we got corn. There were no beans produced by the corn stalks nor were there potatoes on the squash vines!
The Apostle Paul gives us an immutable law, “The Law of Harvest,” in his letter to the believers in Galatia: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good; for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:7-9). In agriculture and horticulture, if you sow corn, you get corn; if you sow wheat, you get wheat. In the moral and spiritual realm you also reap what you sow. The principle of sowing and reaping is immutable, invariable, unalterable, and irrevocable and it is applicable to every sphere of life. What you plant (sow) is what comes up. If you sow “wild oats” that is what will come up, even if you pray for “crop failure!” Wheat that has been found in tombs in Egypt, put there several thousand years ago, when planted still comes up as wheat–it did not forget what it was.
What you sow is what you will reap. There are many examples in the Bible. Jacob, whose very name means “tricker,” or “deceiver,” tricked his father, Isaac, into giving him the blessing due his brother, Esau, the first-born. He then ran away to live with his Uncle Laban for several years, thinking he had gotten away with deceiving his father. He fell in love with Laban’s youngest daughter, Rachel, and worked for seven years to have her as his wife, but Laban tricked him, and gave Jacob his oldest daughter, Leah, instead. What we sow we reap! Jacob had deceived his father into thinking he was the oldest son, when he was actually the younger son. Chickens do come home to roost! (A paraphrase of Gal. 6:7,8!).
Another obvious principle of “The Law of Harvest” is that you only reap if you sow. If you don’t plant the seeds, there will be no harvest. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn. 12:24). In Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matt. 13:1-9, the seed refers to the Word of God. It is our responsibility to sow God’s Word in people’s lives so the Holy Spirit can take it and show them their sinfulness and God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Just living an exemplary life before others isn’t sufficient. They need to hear about Jesus. They need to hear what God’s Word says about salvation by faith alone in Christ alone (cf Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:6). We must plant the seed of God’s Word and then water and cultivate through loving them. Then we have to be patient in waiting for a harvest–which only God can provide. Paul says, “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:9). Each of us probably has family and friends with whom we have shared the “Good News” who have yet to respond. Keep loving them, praying for them, and–if the door opens–sharing God’s truths again with them. Don’t give up! Keep sowing the Word. God has promised: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to me empty without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:10,11).