By Rev. John Campbell,
United Presbyterian, Oakdale
The first week of Fall, if one drives out of Nashville in any direction they will soon find evidence of harvesting.
Fields are already combined, others are in progress, and a lot are waiting to be ready. The season has changed we are in the process of completing the crops for this agriculture year.
There are many passages about the harvest in the Bible since writers were closely related to the land. The images of planting, growing and harvesting are plentiful throughout the Bible. It is the cycle of life that is common to plants, animals, and people.
Now, a harvest is the result of many things – it is the result of hard work – it is the result of good weather and careful care by the Farmer or gardener. But underlying all of these things is hope.
Without hope there would never be a harvest.
In the Psalms we read: The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
We need to remember that in the Bible life is seen as more than cyclical it is seen as a helix moving ever closer to completion in God. And harvesting can be viewed as a picture of the consequence of our lives.
As Paul wrote to the church: “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest.”
Life is filled with choices, choices that affect us on an everyday basis in everything we do which means our everyday choices do have significance. Our choices affect us and others in dramatic ways whether we see it immediately or not. While earth remains, no man will mock God by changing for even one time these laws of the harvest.
One law that we can understand is ‘we reap only what we have sown.’ We think of paying the consequences for sinful actions or foolish choices, but the laws of the harvest are not just negative. These laws are also positive, very positive, and stand as a promise of blessing for sowing that which is good as well as a warning against sowing what is bad.
Sowing what is good: We need to be doing what we can while we can and leave the results with God knowing that our labor is never in vain and also knowing it has consequential implications on others. Some may be involved in the sowing, some in the watering, and others in the reaping, but God is at work.
Another law that is similar is we reap the same in kind as we sow. While human good can produce some benefits in society, in families and nations, without God’s Word and New Life in Christ, there is no eternal value. The seed of God’s Word is what brings real spiritual growth. When we sow good, we bountifully receive from the hand of God who is debtor to no man; for the harvest is always greater than the seed planted.