The Laws Of Sowing And Reaping

July 4, 2014

The Laws of Sowing And Reaping

“But this Isay, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Corinthians 9:6).

In this verse the Apostle Paul tells us that we reap in proportion to what we have sown.  It gives us reason to guard against laziness.  We are always tempted to do less than we should.  I’m glad for lessons I learned in my childhood and youth.  We lived on a farm and there I learned the importance of sowing generously.

There is a lot more involved in sowing than just going out to the field with a wagon load of seed and throwing it out.  Before sowing, my father worked for several weeks preparing the soil.  He began by plowing.  Then he passed over the fields with machines to break up the clods.  He often began this work in cold weather.  Sometimes the wind picked up grains of sand that cut into his face.  He wasn’t like the man we read about in Proverbs 20:4.  “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.”  If he had been negligent in the preparation of the soil he would have paid for it at harvest time.

He was also careful about the seed he sowed.  He spent money to buy the best seed corn.    He could have thought, “This seed is expensive.  I’m going to sow it sparingly.” No, he knew that wouldn’t be prudent.

Now let’s make some applications to what Paul said in II Corinthians 9:6.  I’m sure he didn’t just write this with farmers in mind.  There is nearly always a period of time between sowing and reaping.  For that reason, we need to keep looking to the future.  Sometimes we may wait years before we come to the full fruits of what we have sown.  At other times, it comes rather suddenly.  With regard to children and young people, it is sometimes hard for them to comprehend that they are making an investment in their future when they are studying.  It may seem to them that they aren’t getting much recompense for the time and effort they are putting into it.  If they yield to the temptation to be lazy, they won’t reap the reward for their negligence until they reach their adult years.  Then it may be too late to recuperate what they lost.

There are yet other applications.  In Luke 6:38 Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  This verse doesn’t need to be limited to the money we give.  It could also include sacrifices we make and time we spend.  Colossians 3:22 says, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.” This verse has to do with our work ethics.  He who does the least he can on the job isn’t going to prosper.  In fact, he might even lose his job.

Some years ago I heard an interesting illustration of this.  I’m not sure if it was true, but it illustrates the truth.  It has to do with two boys who were friends in high school.  They both graduated from high school the same year and went out to look for work.  They both landed jobs working for the railroad.  Their jobs sent them to different parts of the country and they lost contact with one another.  Let’s call them Paul and Frank.  Several years went by.  One day Paul was working with a group of men repairing the railroad tracks.  While they were working a passenger train came by.  The train had to stop for a little while so the men working could clear the tracks.  It was a hot day and the passengers had the windows open.  That was obviously before the days of air conditioning.  Paul happened to notice a man dressed in a suit and tie looking out the window of the train.  He looked familiar.  Then he realized that he was his old friend, Frank.  They chatted for a while.  Paul found out that Frank was now working in an office in the city.  He ask Frank, “Why is it that we both started working for the railroad at the same time, but you have an office job and I’m still working as a lineman?” Frank said, “Could it be that you started working for a buck fifty an hour and I started working for the railroad?”  If we work for the good of our employer we are sowing seed that will reap a harvest.

In II Corinthians 8:7 Paul mentioned some things in which we should abound.  “Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” From the context, we know he was talking about money, but if we abound in those other things he mentioned we shall also reap a harvest.  Each deed is like a seed planted.  When we reap the harvest, we can’t attribute it to any particular seed.  All of them together make their contribution to a bountiful harvest.

In Galatians 6:7-8 Paul says we reap according to what we sow.  “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.” He warns us about the danger of deception.  If we spend the bulk of our time learning how to win computer games, we may be proficient at it, but it won’t add anything to our net worth.  Paul wants us to know that what we sow to the spirit will have eternal rewards.

In II Corinthians 9:8-11 Paul tells us that he that sows good seed will be enriched in everything to all bountifulness.  “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:   (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.    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;)    Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”

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