Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sowing & Reaping (and Sovereignty)

I was just thinking about the next topic i plan to write on, 'Sowing and Reaping', and found that it relates well to my last post, Slack Hands and God's Sovereignty. The farming concept of 'Sowing and Reaping' is a great metaphor that displays BOTH the importance of
diligence and man's responsibilities, AND divine sovereignty. There's a ton of verses on the topic. Here's a couple:

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal 6:7-9)

"Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." (Eccl 11:4-6)

As in the last post, these verses stress action and the responsibilities of man ("sow," "let not your hands be idle" and "doing good"). There is a strong emphasis on what we are to DO. The farmers spreads the seed, works the field and harvest the grain. HOWEVER, the farmer did not create the seed or grain. The farmer does all that he can, BUT not everything is under his control. He can only hope and pray for good growing conditions. As it says in the Ecclesiastes verse (11:4-6), it is God who sovereignty directs the wind and sends the clouds. While we may not "understand the work of God," He is always ultimately in control. So, the metaphor of 'Sowing and Reaping' is a great depiction of the intersection of God's Sovereignty and the life and work of mankind.

Much more coming on 'Sowing and Reaping,' culture, and money on the next post!

The above picture of the oil painting is called "Sower with the setting Sun" by Van Gogh, 1888. Another version is depicted below.

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mitch anthony said...


thanks for your work on this topic. I'm reading it with great interest as I am writing a book on the topic at this time.

There is no more significant issue on our planet,

Mitch Anthony

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