Top The Law Of The Harvest
The Law Of The Harvest
By, James & Mary Lee Thornton
God has established certain laws which govern the universe. These laws are fixed and unalterable. Man cannot nullify or change these laws. These laws work for our advantage if we obey them. On the other hand they will hurt us or even bring about our destruction if we disobey them.
In this study we want to consider 7 laws which operate in the natural realm of sowing and harvesting. We will show that these same laws operate in the spiritual realm as well, equally as fixed and functional as the physical laws.
Genesis 1:11. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
You will notice at the creation of all things which live upon the earth that every thing brought forth after his kind. Every plant had its own seed and it brought forth the same kind of plant. Every beast and creeping thing brought forth other beasts and creeping things after his kind.
As God has set laws which govern the natural realm, He also has ordained laws which govern the spiritual realm.
2. 7 Laws Established By God
3. Life’s Choices
4. Law #1, We Reap Only What Has Been Sown
5. Law #2, We Reap The Same In Kind As We Sow
6. Law #3, We Reap In A Different Season Than When We Plant
7. Law #4, We Reap More Than We Sow
8. Law #5, We Reap In Proportion As We Sow
9. Law #6, We Reap the Full Harvest Of The Good Only If We Persevere, The Evil Comes To Harvest On Its Own
10. Law #10, We cannot Do Anything About Last Years Harvest, But We Can Do Something About This Years Crop
2. Seven Laws Established By God:
In this study we will consider these 7 laws which God has established to govern the natural as well as the spiritual realm. We will elaborate on each of these laws in our study of The Law Of The Harvest.
Law #1: We reap only what has been sown. All life come from a preceding life—there is no such thing as a Spontaneous Generation (life springing up of itself). What we reap then was planted either naturally or purposely, either by God or man, for either positive results or detrimental.
We are benefactors of much for which we have extended no labor, but we enter into the labor of others. We are also recipients of the sowing of tares in the field—for what others do, does affect us, and there is no way for us to escape it.
Many sow wild oats during the week and then go to Church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure—it will not happen.
Law #2: We reap the same in kind as we sow. Whatever we sow, we reap; so that, if we sow the good, we will reap the good; if we sow the evil, we will reap the evil.
Write it down in capital letters and underline it—Confession And Forgiveness In No Way Stops The Harvest.
Law #3: We reap in a different season than when we sow. We sow in one season, we reap in another. No harvest comes the moment the seed is planted, but must await God’s appointed time… “Due Season.”
Law # 4: We reap more that we sow. The harvest is always greater than the seed planted. If this were not true, no farmer would plant anything. When we “Sow the wind, we reap the whirlwind” Hosea 8:7.
Law #5: We reap in proportion as we sow. If we sow sparingly, we reap sparingly; but if we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully. The more seed we sow, and the greater amount of ground is covered, the greater we will harvest.
Law #6: We reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere; the evil comes to harvest on its own. Weeds grow by themselves, but this is not true with vegetables in the garden or corn and wheat in field. These all require much care.
Law # 7; We cannot do anything about last years harvest, but we can about this years. Last year is a fact of history that cannot be relived and about which we can do nothing. Our concern needs to be for what we are sowing right now.
3. Life’s Choices:
Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
16. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
20. (Joshua said) If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.”
The power of choice…
The right to choose…
I can choose…
You can choose…
In fact, I must choose…
You must choose.
But with this right, with this power comes responsibility. We are responsible for the choices we make. There are consequences for all our actions. We want to think about how the choices we make affect our lives, our future, and the lives of others.
Joshua told the children of Israel that they must make a choice. The right choice would bring peace and prosperity. The wrong choice would bring pain, hurt and they would be consumed. “Joshua wrote these words in the book of the Law and set them as a Law, a Statute, and an Ordinance…” Joshua 24:25-26. A great stone was set as a witness. Joshua 24:26.
Why This Study of Sowing and Reaping?
God has seen fit to reveal Himself through nature.
Romans 1:19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Psalm 19:1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
It was through the marvels of nature that God revealed Himself to Job. Job 38-42.
Jesus taught His Disciples that “except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: But if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Many of His parables made reference to nature to teach truth to the world. Hebrews tells us that as Christians we are responsible to produce the “Peaceable fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:11.
Jesus commanded us to be fruit bearing Christians, John 15:16. Then Paul talks about “The Fruit of the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Satan Is A Past Master At The Art Of Slow Approach:
Changes in our way of life have been so slow, so subtle over the past 40 years that many have not even noticed. No shock is felt as men and women are drawn further and further away from God.
There is a record of an experiment in which a frog was placed in a basin of cool water which was being heated one-fourth degree a minute. Although the frog never moved it was found dead at the end of two and a half hours. There was such a small increase in temperature, such little contrast at any given point in time that the frog was boiled to death without noticing it. Christians are lulled minute by minute.
The World Will Not Know It Is Ripe For Judgment:
Matthew 24:37. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
From the “Baptist Beacon” in the state of Illinois, “It is illegal to read the Bible in the public schools of Illinois, but the Law requires the state to provide a Bible for every convict! Don’t worry, kids, if you cannot read the Bible in school, you will be able to when you get to prison.”
America has forgotten God and we are reaping the results.
Psalm 33:12. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD;”
Not a year goes by that we are not experiencing a drought in one place, in another flooding, and blight in another, in another hurricane, tornado and earthquake destruction is an everyday occurrence.
The main street to Anchorage, Alaska, fourth avenue, was known as the mile-long bar, because it had more liquor establishments along it than any street in the world. 1964 a devastating earth earthquake struck that region. Fourth Avenue received the severest damage; it was almost entirely wiped out.
Many of the residents remarked about the significance of the quake striking that location on Good Friday. “The Judgment of the Lord is true and righteous altogether.” We are, and will be reaping what others are sowing. Therefore it behooves us to do everything we can to sow the good seed ever day.
4. Law #1, We Reap Only What Has Been Sown:
Much that we reap we never planted—somebody else did, and we reap the consequences. If other have sown tares in our field, at the time of reaping, there is no way around the consequences. For what others do, does affect us—this is the basic law of the harvest.
We reap only what has been sown. This law operates both positively and negatively.
First on the positive side. We receive many blessings both from God and man for which we have performed no labor. The greatest giver of all is God Himself. He loves to give. “He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:45.
He is “The living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein; … who left not Himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave rain from heaven and earth… He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.. and in Him we live, and move and have our being” (Acts 17:24-28 paraphrased).
The Prophet Isaiah said, “He watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Isaiah 55:10. But mankind is guilty of ingratitude. What man did, rather than give thanks to God, was changed “The Truth of God into a lie, and worship and serve the creature more than the creator.” Romans 1:25.
Yet God loved man. He is a God that is abundant in mercy. The greatest of all gifts, “Last of all He sent unto them His son.” Matthew 21:37
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” John 3:16.
God is asking us to receive something (Salvation) for which we extended no labor and for which we have no merit. Then there are men and women who have labored, and we have entered into the blessings of their labors in the establishments of churches, schools, and hospitals.
Many faithful Pastors, Christian workers, Missionaries, Sunday School Teachers have faithfully sown the Good Seed around the world. Then along comes someone else and reaps the Fruit of their Labor.
Truly We Reap Only What Has Been Sown:
We also reap the wrong because others came along and sowed the wrong. The Bible Admonishes us, “That prayers be made for all men; for Kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty. 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
When our Leaders sow wrong we all will reap of their evil. Do not forget that corrupt society also has a corrupting influence upon the good. Our society is decaying day by day and we are “Treasuring up unto ourselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Romans 2:5
We all will reap what this Nation is sowing. As a Nation, as a people we are wrong spiritually and morally. Somehow we have the idea that God needs America, rather than the fact of the matter, that America needs God.
Edward Gibbon, 1787 after 20 years of labor completed his “The decline and fall of the Roman Empire.” The following is his summary.
1. “The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
2. Higher and higher taxes and free spending of public money.
3. The mad craze for pleasure and sports are becoming every year more exciting and brutal.”
4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.
5. The decay of religion, faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people. Ours is the age of irony.”
This is an age in which we can beam messages to the stars and yet our next door neighbors are going to eternity without the message of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an age in which we get all concerned about Communism or Mohammedism capturing the world, and we don’t care that Satan is capturing our community.
It is an age in which we have the greatest National defense in the history of the world and the weakest moral defense. It is an age in which we will pay ten million dollars a year to a drunken television entertainer and fifty thousand dollars a year to a Bible College Professor.
It is an age in which we will call a man a fan if he won’t miss a ballgame and a fanatic if he won’t miss a prayer meeting. It is an age when we will imprison the man who is unfaithful to his debts and chuckle about the man who is unfaithful to his wife.
It is an age when we will spend thousands training a machine gunner and practically nothing to train a Minister of the Gospel. God help us, how have we come to this situation? We will reap what has been sown. America will reap, our own families will reap. There is no escape.
5. Law 3, We Reap The Same In Kind As We Sow:
There is no such thing as a ‘Spontaneous Generation” (something springing to life without the aid of another life, nothing comes to life of its own power). This is a very ancient law, the law of nature, and the law of physics.
Whatever we sow we reap. If we sow the good, we will reap the good. If we sow evil, we will reap evil. When we lie to others, others will ultimately lie to us. If we cheat others, someday someone will cheat us.
Paul reminds us of this in “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” Galatians 6:7-8.
In the six days of creation, God ordered everything to produce “after his kind.”
Three times in Genesis 1:11-12 God used the phrase “after his kind.”
11. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
What was true in botanical realm (the plant world) is also true in the realm of flesh and blood. Seven more times God said “After his (their) kind” in Genesis 1:20-22-24-25, In the creation of fowls of the air and beasts of the field and every creature of the sea “after their kind.” So we see that this law was established at creation. (Physics) This Law was so abiding and important that Jesus used it in the spiritual sense when He was speaking to Nicodemus.
John 3:6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
All that is flesh is capable of producing is like in kind as itself (more flesh).
Likewise the Holy Spirit of God reproduces after His own Holy nature and character and produces a new nature within us. This is the work of the Holy Spirit which we call regeneration.
Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
“Regeneration” is made up of two Greek words. The first word signifies “again” or “Once more.” The second word is the word for birth, or “Creation.” Thus regeneration is a “once more birth; it is a “Creation all over again.” “Born again.”
Being born once will never fit us for Heaven. We must be born all over again by the Holy Spirit of God. It is a different kind of birth than our first birth. It is a spiritual birth. This is the very thing that is the heart of Christianity. That is why our Lord said to Nicodemus: “Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again,” (John 3:7)
Let us look at Nicodemus; he had everything going for him, a model of a man, educated, socially prominent and very religious. He fasted twice a week, very scrupulous about principals that governed his life. He paid tithes of all he possessed. He was morally upright, outstanding in every way, “A master of Israel” and “A ruler of the Jews.” An example for every woman’s son and was out standing and good.
Yet even though Nicodemus was that kind of person, our Lord said unto him that he had to be born again to see the kingdom of God. He simply could not make it on his own merit. (after his kind).
The next chapter of John’s Gospel ‘4’ Jesus is talking to a woman at the well at Sychar in Samaria. She was a Samaritan, a mixture of Jew and Gentile. A person despised and detested by every Israelite. She was an outcast from the Jewish race. The “Jew had no dealings with the Samaritans “they were called ‘Dogs” by the Jews.
By their teaching it was impossible for a Samaritan to be saved, they were without hope. And even in Samaria, this woman was a notorious person. The Lord exposes her by telling her that she had had five husbands and the man she was now living with was not her husband.
But in all that long conversation with her, our Lord never spoke one word to this Samaritan woman about being born again. But rather spoke about the Father who desires “True worshippers.” He simply brought the loving heart of God to her.
We may wonder why He never spoke to her about being born again. If He had we would all had said, “yes she needs to born again because of her background and because she is a bad person, a sinner above all. But me, “I’m not like her.” I don’t have that kind of background,” “I’m not really all that bad,”
We might see no real need to be born again, but Jesus chose the very best of men in Israel, Nicodemus, and said unto him, “Ye must be born again.” So all of us without exception, must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God.
If the very best in Israel could not make it on his own, Paul taught, “We have all fallen short of the Glory of God” Romans 3:23.
Since everything reproduces after his kind, we must have the spirit of God within us to produce the Fruit of Righteousness.
We do not sow discord and reap unity. We do not sow sin and reap sanctification.
We do not sow hypocrisy, and reap Holiness of Life. He that sows to his flesh will reap just what the flesh can produce. But he that sows to the spirit will reap what the spirit can produce, “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.”
Eliphaz in the book of Job recognized this law. “They that plow iniquity and sow wickedness, reap the same
When David sowed to his flesh he reaped what the flesh produced 2 Samuel 11.
Moreover, he reaped the consequences of his sin even though he had confessed his sin and had been forgiven.
Had David only sinned with Bathsheba, his sin would have been great enough. But David kept on and on in his sin until he finally killed Uriah. And since he had sown the more, he was to reap the more. Sin is deceitful; it has such a hard ending effect upon a life.
I want you to underline it, mark it deeply upon your conscious mind; confession and forgiveness in no way stops the harvest. What we sow we will reap. There are no exceptions the sooner we stop sowing to the flesh, the sooner we will stop reaping the harvest of corruption.
6. Law #3, We Reap In A Different Season Than When We Sow:
Too many are sowing wild oats through the week and then going to church on Sunday and praying for a crop failure. But it will not happen, for God will not be mocked by man – any man. Even though we may scheme and connive and try to get around reaping the consequences of our actions, it is to no avail.
It shall not be done, the Laws of the Harvest abide, what you sow you will reap.
Psalm 7:15. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
God’s Law is fixed and what you do to hurt others will come back upon yourself.
This law not only operates in the negative principal, it also operates positively as well. That’s the reason Paul exhorts the Galatians to sow the good seed and to “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)
Now we want emphasize the Third Law of the Harvest.
We Reap In A Different Season Than When We sow:
Ecclesiastes 3:1.To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
The Harvest never comes immediately after planting.
Genesis 8:22. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Ecclesiastes 11:1. Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (“Due Season”)
Galatians 6:9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Proverbs 11:18 “…to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.”
God is a debtor to no man, He always pays in full. Sow all the good we can, all we have opportunity to do, and leave the results with God. And remember God doesn’t settle all His accounts in September. And let us never forget that sometimes the Lord, in His longsuffering, waits years before He disciplines or judges for wrongs.
When the Israelites were in the land they failed to keep the Sabbatical year.
Exodus 23:10-11, Leviticus 25:1-7, Deuteronomy 15:1 and 31:10. These scriptures tell them that for a whole year, each seventh year the land was to rest. During which time no one in Israel was to work the land or plant anything … “Sabbatical Year.”
Yet for a period of 490 years Israel failed to observe this law. It may have appeared at first that it made no difference, that God wasn’t noticing it at all. But this was the furthest thing from the truth.
He waited and waited, then after nearly half a millennium He told the people that they were going off the land for 70 years. Jeremiah 25:11-12 and 29:10. The reason for 70 years was so the land could enjoy and keep its Sabbaths that the people failed to observe. Leviticus 26:33-34, 2 Chronicles 36:21
70 X 7- = one year in captivity for each year they did not observe the Sabbatical year. All the time God had been keeping an exact account.
Ecclesiastes 8:11. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Because God does not judge sin instantly men think they are getting by with sinning.
We reap in a different season than when we sow. A religious periodical quoted one of its Ministers as saying “There are seven important things we ought always to remember about sin.
1. That sin earns wages.
2. Sin pays wages.
3. Sin insists on paying. You may be willing to let the account go, but sin always insists on paying.
4. Sin pays its wages in kind. Sin against the body brings results in the body.
Sin in the moral life brings results there.
Sin in contact with other people brings a chain of results in affecting other people.
Sin is the most selfish of acts; it influences to some extent everything we touch.
5. Sins pay in installments.
6. Sin pays in full unless the blood of Jesus Christ washes away the stain.
7. Sin is self executive, it pays its own bills. It has bound up within itself all the terrible consequences that ever comes.
We Reap In A Different Season Than When We Sow:
Proverbs 1:10. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
There Are Two Ways To Travel Life’s Road --- Jesus Said:
Matthew 7:13. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
There are three things we need to know, to understand and never forget. And these have to do with sin and evil. First there is no good in the old sinful nature of man. It is perpetually evil and always bad.
Jeremiah 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The very same Hebrew word translated “desperately” here is translated in Jeremiah 30:12-15. as “incurable.” The heart of man is literally, “incurably wicked.” Does this mean I can’t do better? Be better?
Jeremiah had already said: Jeremiah 10:23. O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
It is not God’s program to “change” the evil heart and nature of man to make the heart “better” to “soften” hard hearts. God wants to create within man an entirely new being, a new birth,
David said: Psalms 51:10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
It may be said that the Lord is not in the business of reformation, but of regeneration. It is not a turning over a new leaf, but His giving us a new life.
Ezekiel 36:26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
The second thing we need to understand is continual conflict exists between what the flesh nature wants and what the Holy Spirit of God wants.
Paul Tells Us That There Will Always Be Continual Conflict:
Galatians 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Whatever the flesh desires is just contrary to what the Holy Spirit desires. And what the Spirit wants the flesh never wants. At no time do both of them get together and want the same thing – continual conflict. This never existed before you got saved, because then you only had one nature – a sin nature.
Now there is opposition to everything we do. But God wants us to “walk in spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
The third thing we need to understand is the Law of Leaven. Any time sin of any variety is allowed to exist, and is not dealt with by the believer, that sin continues to work as leaven until the whole is corrupted. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:6.)
If we do not deal with sin, it will deal with us. Good apples never change the bad apples, but just the opposite. The literal translation of 1 Corinthians 15:33 is “Evil companions tear down good morals.” But nothing is more significant to us than the “Law of the Harvest.”
7. Law # 4: We reap more that we sow.
The fourth law of the harvest is one of the most important things concerning the harvest. The harvest is always greater than the seed planted. If this were not true, no farmer would plant anything. We sow by the handfuls, we reap by the bushels.
This is not just true for the farmer; it is true for every person that has ever lived. It is true for the Christian and the non-Christian alike. It is true both positively and negatively. When we sow the wrong, we are going to reap more than we sowed. When we sow the good we likewise will reap a harvest of good.
This law is emphasized in Proverbs 22:8 “He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity:” The word “vanity” as translated here has many meanings in the Bible. It has more meaning than simply ‘empty’ or ‘vain.’ The word refers to calamity, fraud, falsehood, wickedness, iniquity, misfortune, adverse circumstances, sorrow, and grief.
Thus we can get a feeling for this word “vanity” and what it signifies. God says that when a person sows iniquity (wickedness) he shall reap a harvest of adverse or bad circumstances that involve sorrow, grief, suffering, anxiety, misfortune, calamity, and you name it. When we “Sow the wind, we reap the whirlwind” Hosea 8:7.
Probably no person in Scripture shows this principle of sowing and reaping (we reap more than we sow) than David. So important is this in David’s life that the entire Book of 2nd Samuel is taken up by it to emphasize forcibly this truth.
In 2nd Samuel everything David does is blessed in the first half of the book. But then David sins with Bathsheba (2 Samuel chapter 11 and 12). From that point on everything falls apart, for David has nothing but trouble, anxiety, sorrow, grief, misfortune, and adverse circumstances.
2 Samuel moves from triumph to troubles, from fame to shame, from success to failure, from happiness to sorrow in one line after the other. First, there is trouble in David’s family, and then in his government; from inside his home to inside his kingdom.
Here one man sinned (David) and a chain reaction of events was set into motion that was to cause hardship and heartache to untold numbers of individuals, including the death of several sons (one unborn, the other Absalom
(2 Samuel 18:14), Shimea (2 Samuel 12:19), Amon (2 Samuel 13:28-29), Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24-25).
This is the law of the harvest, we reap more than we sow. It is God’s law, it is law a of grace. It shows no mercy because it is a fixed and irrevocable law that no one can get around. The sooner one stops sowing to the flesh, the sooner he will stop reaping in like kind, and the more you so the more you will reap.
Little does man realize the serious consequences of sin.
Man excuse sin, but God hates sin, and calls it for what it is.
Man calls sin an accident, God calls it an abomination.
Man calls sin a blunder, God calls it blindness.
Man calls sin a defect, God calls it a defilement.
Man calls sin carelessness, God calls it a catastrophe.
Man calls sin infirmity, God calls it iniquity.
Man calls sin an error, God calls it estrangement.
Man calls sin a lapse, God calls it lawlessness.
Man calls sin a mistake, God calls it madness.
Man calls sin reasonable, God calls it rebellion.
Man calls sin a triffle, God calls it a tragedy.
Man calls sin a weakness, God calls it willfulness.
Now let us look on the positive of this law of the harvest. It seems that God’s only criticism of David was this one incident with Bathsheba as seen by the record in 1 Kings 15:5 “David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”
Therefore most of David’s life was sowing the good, not evil; and as a result, God continued to bless the many kings of Judah for many years for David’s sake because he had done that which was right ( 1 Kings 11:12; 15:4; 2 Kings 8;19; 16:2; 18:3; 19: 34; 20:6; 22:2).
Blessings from this righteousness man’s life was reaped for many generations of his own people and I might say we in the present century ar reaping from the harvest of good thing that David sowed. Anyone been blessed recentlt by reading the 23 Psalm?
You just cannot lose when walking in fellowship with the Lord. And you cannot gain when walking out of fellowship with Him. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10).
8. Law #5: We reap in proportion as we sow.
If one does not sow, he does not reap. If we sow sparingly, we reap sparingly; but if we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully. The more seed we sow and the greater amount of ground that is covered, the greater we will harvest. If the farmer only cultivates and sows only one acre, he will reap only what one acre can produce. However, if he has one hundred acres under cultivation, his harvest can be one hundred times greater.
There may seem to be a contradiction in these last two laws. One says, “You reap more than you sow,” this law says “We reap in proportion as we sow.” Yet they are both true at the same time. Both laws have to do with quantity or amount. However the previous law (you reap more than you sow) is God’s part, this law (you reap in proportion as you sow), is has to do with your part.
God’s part is that whatever seed that is sown is multiplied many times. Our part is that we need to sow all the good that we can. “Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, yea, even unto eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth… In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2, 6).
The Apostle Paul devotes two whole chapters (5 & 6) in his Second letter to the Corinthians. We will only post a few of theses verses.
2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
This law (we reap in proportion as we sow) operates both positively and negatively. The more one sows to the flesh, the more he will reap the corruption which flesh alone can produce. But equally true, the more one sows to the Spirit, the more he reaps blessings of a righteous harvest. “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:18).
We need to realize that God’s method of repayment is not like men. He does not give back merely what we have given, but He returns with a very big interest rate. Let us look at one passage of Scripture where Jesus emphasizes this.
Matthew 19:29 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
Receiving an hundredfold is a 10,000 percent dividend returned on one’s investment. This is what kind repayment God pays.
9. Law #6: We reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere; the evil comes to harvest on its own.
Weeds grow by themselves, but this is not true with vegetables in the garden or corn and wheat in field. These all require much care. This brings us to another truth brought to us by the Apostle Paul.
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
A vegetable garden cannot be planted and then forgotten, if it is very little will come from the planting. A vegetable garden requires much labor and work in order to reap an abundant harvest. This is not true of the weeds; they have the ability to come to full bloom on their own without anyone doing a thing.
What is true in the natural realm is also true in the spiritual realm. The only way we will enjoy the blessings of a full harvest of the good things sown is to persevere and not faint. Once the evil is sown it comes to fruition on its own; but the good will never produce an abundant harvest without constant attention.
There are going to be problems and difficulties in our Christian walk but God will give us the strength to work through them. Isaiah 40:29 “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Discouragement: It is Satan’s work to try to defeat and discourage us. Satan cannot keep us from Christ, but his next best thing is to keep us from living victoriously in Christ.
An article appeared in a leading Christian publication that illustrates this. “It was advertized that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale the tools were placed for public inspection, each marked with its sale price. There were a treacherous lot of implements. Hatred, envy, jealously, deceit, lying, pride and so on. Laid apart from the rest was a harmless looking tool, well-worn, and priced very high.
‘What is the name of this tool?’ asked one of the purchasers, pointing to it.
‘That is discouragement,’ replied the devil.
‘Why have you priced so high?’
‘Because it is more useful to me that the others. I pry open and get inside a man’s heart with that, when I cannot get near him with the other tools. Once I get inside, I can make him do what I choose. It is badly worn, because I use it on almost everyone since few people know that it belongs to me.’
The devils price for discouragement was so high that it was never sold. Discouragement is still the devil’s tool, and he is using it today to discourage God’s people.”
The Place And Way To Victory: There is a since that we must begin right where we are if we are going to overcome discouragement and find victory. The tendency of many, even preachers, is to flee and go somewhere else and have a fresh start, but this is not the Lord’s way out.
When the disciples had toiled all-night, and caught nothing, the Lord had them to fish right where their boat was in the same old place where they had fished and toiled all night and caught nothing. Why was this? Because the victory had to be won there at the problem area or there would be no victory at all over the discouragement.
No doubt the disciples thought it would be better to move and fish at another location, and at another time, but they listened to Jesus and toiled again at his bidding, and we know the results. Many are always running to something else at another place, not realizing that right where they are is where the Lord wants them to begin to work. Persevere Where God Calls Us To Work:
We reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere; “Success,” says Booker T. Washington, “is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
10. Law # 7: We cannot do anything about last years harvest, but we can about this years.
Last year is a fact of history that cannot be relived and about which we can do nothing. Our concern needs to be for what we are sowing right now.
Hebrews 6:7 “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”
In these verses we have portrayed two different individuals which sowed their seed under like conditions, they have the same type of ground, and the Lord blessed both by sending rain and sunshine on both crops and all else that was needed to grow a good harvest of the good.
One of the planters reaped a good harvest of herbs and vegetables for his labor. The other did not have a good harvest of herbs and vegetables but a crop of weeds and thorns filled his ground. What made the difference in the two crops?
There is one phrase in verse 7 which tells the entire story, “BY WHOM IT IS DRESSED.” One of the planters “dressed” or worked the ground which he was planting. He cultivated, and hoed the weeds as they came up. He dressed, or trimmed it as needed, he controlled the insects, and other pests that tried to invade the plants. He received an abundant harvest of good things.
The other planter used the same conditions and produced nothing but thorns and thistles and weeds, things which have no value whatsoever but are the products of the curse. All that can be done with then is to gather then up and burn them so that they will not multiply themselves upon the land.
That’s the reason we will look at this Law #7 Of The Harvest, We cannot do anything about last years harvest, but we can about this years.
Whatever we did last year, last month, last week, and even yesterday is over and past. Nothing we do today can change the record of what was sown and what was, or will, be reaped as a consequence of it. It is either a harvest that will be worthy of praise or burning—or perhaps portions of both—but whatsoever was sown stands as the record of our lives lived on earth.
The problem with all too many people is that they are not forgetting the past and reaching forth to what is before us (Philippians 3:13-14). If we failed to produce a crop worthy of the Lord’s praise last year, let us repent and purpose in our hearts to do better from now on. Ask the help of the Holy Spirit to guide you and strengthen you in all your living habits.
If we used the time and opportunities God gave us and produced a harvest of good things last season, we still cannot rest on our accomplishments. This is a new year, a new week, a new day, or time of sowing; and just because the Holy Ghost led and blessed last year, as we were obedient to Him and the Word, does not mean that we will automatically produce anything good this year.
OUR LIFE IS LIKE A CONTEST FOR A PRIZE: The Apostle Paul spent a lot of time in the city of Corinth. He was well aware that every two years near the city of Corinth they celebrated the Isthmian games which involved five sports: Leaping, discus throwing, racing, boxing and wrestling. The athlete who was proclaimed the victor appeared before the judges sitting on the Bema seat, and he was awarded a wreath.
Athletes who trained for ten months prior to the contest would discipline themselves to such an extent that anything that might hinder their winning, however good it might be otherwise, was set aside. They did this for a temporal passing honor. Paul, however, was involved in a far greater and higher contest, and he was out to win.
Let us listen as he writes back later to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 9:24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under (buffet) my body, and bring it into subjection (: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disapproved, disqualified).” (So I run—but not without a clear goal ahead of me. So I box—but not as if I were just shadow boxing. Rather, I toughen my body with punches and make it my slave so that I will not be disqualified after I have spread the Good News to others. GW)
What a description of the Christian life. We are all, as Paul says, in a contest, the winner of which, will inherit eternal life. Here Paul tells how he is training, and life is a training ground, a proving ground. He says he will do everything in his power to bring his body under subjection, bring it to the point that it will run lawfully, and within the rules (of God’s law).
The word ‘buffet’ in some translations signifies ‘to strike under the eye, to give a black eye.’ This is exactly what it takes to control the body along with tongue which is the last member to be brought under control of the Spirit of God (James 3:1-10). Paul did all this so that he would not be one who would preach to others ‘the rules of the race,’ and then not follow himself the very rules he preached to others. If he failed to follow the rules, he would be disapproved, or disqualified at the end of the race and so would not receive the award. All to many have failed in this very thing because they have failed to discipline themselves.
“If you can be content with God’s povisions,
Though others seem to prosper and succeed;
Not let repining mar the heavenly vision,
And simply trust in God for every need.
If you can let the mind of Christ possess you,
Think on “things of good report” and true;
And ever let the love of Christ obsess you,
Constraining everything you say and do;
If you can find in Him your highest treasure,
Commit to Him your thoughts, your fears, your frown,
Then life is yours and blessing without measure
And--what is more—you’ll wear the victor’s crown.
We hope you enjoyed this study and will read the other studies on our web pages.
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By, James & Mary Lee Thornton