Sowing and Reaping - Part 5
Sowing and reaping or “seedtime and harvest” is a “process” which involves several components necessary for its operation. Think of this process as a “mechanism” by which a certain purpose is accomplished. So, in the beginning our Creator established this “mechanism” with a specific purpose in mind which has worked perfectly since its inception, both in the visible and invisible realms of our existence.
In the visible realm (which clearly reflects the spiritual or invisible realm), we see confirmation of this principle on the third day of creation where we read, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day” (Gen. 1:9-13; NKJV).
Is it just a coincidence that this principle is reflected on the “third” day? I think not, for three is the number which symbolizes “divine completeness” or “a complete witness” (Jones; The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from One to Forty). Beloved, within the parameters of sowing and reaping is found the instrument of creation, for everything as we know it has a beginning or origin, typified by the “seed” which initiates the process. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught that this “seed IS the Word of God” (Luke 8:11; NKJV), so John wrote, “In the beginning was the WORD (or seed), and the Word (or seed) was with God, and the Word (or seed) WAS GOD” (John 1:1; NKJV). Do you see it? The “Word” or “seed” “WAS GOD,” revealing that this principle is divine in origin and perfect in its implementation.
The Lord Jesus Christ expressed the simplest form of this principle and mechanism in John 12:24, teaching us that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (NKJV). Here we find a threefold description of the process. First is LIFE, for a seed is “living” before it is planted in the ground, confirmed by the fact that Jesus said “falls into the ground and DIES.” This statement also defines the second stage, which is “DIES.” So it is that Hebrews 9:27 tells us “it is APPOINTED for man to DIE once” (ESV). Appointed, which means that all of us must pass through death in order to reach the third stage of “much grain.” “Much grain” is the third stage and the consummation of this mechanism or principle, which, in regard to humankind, coincides with our Creator’s edict in Genesis 1:28, “Be FRUITFUL, and MULTIPLY.” When perceived properly, these three stages represent the process of resurrection (1st Corinthians, Chapter 15).
Also of note is our phrase “it remains alone.” What did our Creator say concerning us in Genesis 1:18? “It is not good that man should be ALONE” (NKJV). This makes perfect sense, for the “fruit” of any tree is not for the sake of the tree, but for the sake of others. This correlates perfectly with what Jesus taught in Matthew 22, and Paul wrote in Galatians 5.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NASB95)
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' 40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
Galatians 5:22 (NASB95)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE…