Sowing and Reaping - Part 1
Galatians 6:7-10 (NKJV)
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
The principle of sowing and reaping (or seedtime and harvest), is a divine and universal principle, relevant to every soul on this planet; past, present, and future. Within the scope of this principle is found the concept of resurrection, the most important understanding to believers in Christ (John 12:24; 1st Cor. 15:35-57).
In a word, sowing and reaping defines the act of creation itself, for almost all that exists has a beginning, typified by the “seed.” In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mark 4:13) Until we have a full grasp of this principle, other parables are more difficult to comprehend.
The principle of sowing and reaping is first introduced in symbolic form as the “Garden of Eden” in Genesis 2:8, for immediately following the formation of Adam, or humankind, we read, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.” What is the purpose of a garden? There is but one; sowing seed and reaping the subsequent harvest which soon follows. In this instance, the “Garden of Eden” typifies the “seed” of the “Word of God,” establishing His sovereignty over all things, both visible and invisible, from the very beginning. Jesus clarifies this in the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:11 and John gives witness in John 1:1 where we read, “In the beginning was the WORD (seed), and the WORD (seed) was with God, and the WORD (seed) was God” (NKJV). It is my belief that the Parable of the Sower is an accurate description of the Garden of Eden, confirming why Jesus said, “Man,” all-inclusive, “shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (seed) that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; NKJV).
Our word “eastward” in Genesis 2:8 is defined by the Strong’s Concordance as, “The front, of place (absolute the fore part, relative the East) or time (antiquity); often used adverbially (before, anciently, eastward).” This shows that “eastward” is not so much about “direction,” but rather a beginning, about something placed at the absolute “fore part” of our creation. However, the fact that it is rendered “eastward” points to the rising of the sun. This brings us to Genesis 1:14-19, where we read that the sun and moon are the “two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night,” both given “to divide the day from the night” and “for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (NKJV). Time, as we know it, is marked by “day” and “night” and seasons by “months” and “years,” which are made up of time. So it is that Paul wrote, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you” (1st Thess. 5:1; NKJV). When we consider 2nd Corinthians 3:5-11, we see that our sun and moon, or, “greater light” and “lesser light,” typify the “glory” of God’s Two Covenants, Old and New. When properly understood, we will also find that the Old Covenant, out of which came the law, correlates with sowing to our flesh, while the New Covenant, out of which came the promise of His Spirit, correlates with sowing to the Spirit.
Galatians 6:8 (NKJV)
[Old Covenant and the Law]
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption…
[New Covenant and the Spiritual Nature of the Law; Rom. 7:14]
… But he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Now, let’s consider the following where the Hebrew word used for “eastward” is translated as the phrase “and from ancient times.”
Isaiah 46:9-10 (KJV)
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times (eastward) the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure…
What do we read? “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” No doubt, this again confirms the sovereignty of our Creator in relation to all He has created, our word “pleasure” bringing us to the word “Eden,” which is from the root that means, “Pleasure.” Do you see the correlation? The “Garden of Eden” has never been literal, but represents the natural and spiritual aspects of the divine principle of sowing and reaping as described in Galatians 6:7-10.
Just as a seed is planted into the ground and initiates the beginning of the cycle of a particular fruit tree, so too the Word of God initiates our beginning, our entrance into the world and into this universal principle under which we labor during our time here on earth. There are no exceptions; everyone falls under the construct of this principle which is twofold in its implementation (Gal. 6:8).
Sowing and reaping relates to both the visible and invisible. I stress the point that it defines that everything has a beginning. Everything we see and everything we know today did not simply “show up.” Rather, it is here due to this principle and the fact that, somewhere in the past, it had a beginning, which we can define as its “seed” or origin.
Jesus said, “The seed IS the Word of God.” He did not say it was “like” a seed but “is” the seed. This shows that everything goes back to the source from which it originated which would be the living and active Word of our Creator (Matt. 4:4). No wonder John recorded, “And the Word WAS GOD” and Paul wrote, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (John 1:1; Col. 1:16; NKJV).
It is easy enough to see how the principle of sowing and reaping works in the natural realm, but more challenging to consider it in the spiritual. What I mean by “spiritual” is the realm of thought and spirit, of our own inward essence of mind and heart which manifests outwardly in this world of form as “works” or “deeds” (Matt. 5:16; 16:27; James 2:17). In the realm of spirit and mind, the “seed” is the “idea” or “concept.” Google defines “idea” as, “A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action” and “the aim or purpose.” Synonyms for “idea” include plan, design, scheme, project, proposal, and proposition. Two other synonyms which are especially relevant are belief and intention. So, when we consider the “Word” of God, it incorporates the thoughts or mind, and, intent or spirit of our Maker who established this universal principle which guarantees that all things will continue forward from its beginning. Since “God is love,” then all that God has purposed from the beginning is established in the framework of His divine love (1st John 4:8, 16). This was never more exemplified than it was through Christ Jesus, His Son, and His precious death on the cross.