The Concept of Sowing and Reaping

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. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.                                          -Gal. 6:7-9

Growing up on a farm in the South had its share of advantages as well as disadvantages. For those of us who grew up on a farm we understand that one of those advantages was learning about hard work at a young age, Even though this concept should have been a positive motivator for me, during those years I thought I would surely die; if not by the work, then by my Father’s hard hand of correction. Often I think that some of what’s missing in our younger generation is just that: hard work and hard hands. Whether or not you grew up on a farm the fact remains that in some aspects we are all farmers. All of us sow seeds and all of us reap from the seeds that we sow. The scripture confirms this in Galatians 6:7-9.

We are approaching the time of year when farmers began to plow and prepare the soil for planting. Winter is fading and soon we will experience the wonders of springtime. Much like the farmer prepares the soil, we are preparing our souls. The only difference is that we are practicing this concept all year long. In verse 7 we are made aware of WHAT we sow (whatsoever). Notice, first of all, that we cannot fake what we sow. I remember one time thinking that I could mix our pea seeds with our corn seeds while we were planting to make things faster, and my Father would never know the difference. Boy, was I wrong!! The difference in my earthly Father and my heavenly Father was that my earthly Father had to wait until the crop came up before he knew about my deception. Our heavenly Father knows the (whatsoever) of our hearts.

Secondly, in verse 7, we see that we cannot forsake what we sow. We are confronted with a word that is an absolute: (shall). In other words we cannot outrun our sin, and it is also a real possibility to be overcome by it.

For there is nothing hid, that shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should (or shall) come abroad.                                        -Mark 4:22

In Numbers 32:23 God is very plain: “Be sure your sin will find you out”. Hiding our sin could result in God hiding from us.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.                                                -Isa. 59:2

Any good farmer knows that he can never get rid of all the grass and weeds from his crop, but he works hard at it every day. We should not be any different.

As we continue to look at the idea of sowing and reaping, let us examine verse 8. In verse 7 we are made aware of WHAT we sow. In verse 8 we are made aware of WHERE we sow (flesh or Spirit). The old Adamic nature is always looking for other options of WHERE to sow, but God says that there are only two places. We can choose to sow seeds in the ruined soil of self or in the rich soil of the Spirit. First off, the Apostle Paul tells us where not to sow, which is the ruined soil of self (or the flesh). I am sure, dear reader, that you as well as myself could write a book about how many times we have sown seeds we wished we never would have sown. According to the scripture, the truth of the matter is that we are all in pretty bad shape.

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it                 -Jer. 17:9

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.                                           -Prov.. 23:7

Behold, thou hast made my days as and handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.

-Ps. 39:5

These verses coincide with the fact given in verse 8 that our flesh is corrupt.  

Now we understand where not to sow; before we look at where to sow I would like to draw your attention to the word “but”, which is like a small hinge in the scripture that all the bigger truths hang. Although the Bible declares in Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” it also declares in Romans 5:8 but God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. I feel I need to stop right there and add an “amen” and a “hallelujah” ! Instead of sowing to the ruined soil of self let us sow to the rich soil of the Spirit.  It is a soil that is so rich that whosoever is planted in it will live forever. One soil produces death, but the other soil produces life and that production (reaping) starts long before most plants die.

I would like to share with you a few verses that declare how rich we are in Christ. I don’t mean this in a “prosperity gospel” sort of way. Some of the biggest and most beautiful blessings that God has for us are not always on the top shelf. Sometimes these blessings are down on the bottom. This thought brings us to verse 9 of our text. Since we have looked at WHAT we sow and WHERE we sow there must be a WHY we sow as well. Firstly, there is a plea in WHY we sow (to do well) or (well doing). God tells us that we can be holy because He is holy. He also tells us that we can do all things because he gives us “His strength”.

Secondly, there is not only a plea in WHY but there is also a promise in WHY we sow. There are two words that are found in all three verses of Gal. 6:7-9. These words are shall and reap. Both words indicate an absolute ! In other words, it is not a “think so”, “maybe so”, or even a “hope so”, they are a “know so”.

Delight thyself in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  

                                                                                                              -Ps. 37:4

No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.               

   -Ps 84:11

Call unto me, and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

                                                                                                                -Jer. 33:3

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

                                             -Jn. 10:10

The Holy Spirit ends verse 9 with the words “if we faint not”. This world we live in is getting darker and darker every day, but we cannot let that fact get us down and depressed but rather look for the “silver lining” that God has prepared for us.

    I would like to leave you with an illustration to help emphasize my point. I know I am not the only person that likes dirt. I love to play with dirt. In fact, for the last ten years or so I have grown, not bought, my own fertilizer. I do this by filling large, plastic cattle watering troughs with worms and all sorts of organic materials. I keep the troughs covered so it stays very dark inside them. The worms like it this way. Even though the materials are shrouded in darkness, every time I remove the lids from the troughs I find all kinds of new plant life that has sprouted from the soil that even total darkness could not prevent. That’s what happens when you are in the right stuff !