Monday, May 14, 2012

Just Sow!

Jesus taught the multitudes in Matthew 13 with parables, three of which are directly related to agriculture.  Here is a farmer's perspective on the first one, commonly called the Parable of the Sower.

"Behold, a sower went forth to sow;"  The sower went forth to sow, without regard to the conditions of the field in which he sowed.  As we see in the following verses, he sowed on rocky ground, among thorns, on good soil, and in this instance, on the way side.  We Christians should all be sowers of the gospel, indiscriminately sowing in the field God has placed us. Our job is to sow, letting the seed fall wherever God wills it.

"And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up."  This is a common farming problem even today.  Geese, crows, and other animals such as wild hogs can wreak havoc on a newly planted field.  They will eat the seed before it has had time to sprout and root down.  Jesus interprets his own parable later in the chapter.  In this instance, he says that when some one hears the Word and does not understand it, then Satan comes and catches away the seed that was sown.  Satan loves to confuse the minds of those that may have had a seed thrown their way. By doing so he will often snatch away the thoughts that have turned to eternity before they have time to take root.

"Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away."  Seeds that are planted on rocky ground are often the fastest to come up, because the rocks catch the sun's rays and warm the soil around them.  However, rocky ground doesn't hold much moisture, because it contains a higher percentage of rocks and less soil.  Therefore, in times of drought, crops on rocky land will die quicker.  Jesus says that he that receives the seed in stony places hears the Word and receives it with joy.  However, he has grown too quickly for the amount of root that he has; and when trials and tribulations arise, he is offended.  How often have we seen new converts spring up, try to grow up too fast, and then quickly wither away under Satan's fervent heat because they have no root!

"And some fell among thorn; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them."  This is one of the toughest battles farmers are facing at this time.  Certain weeds have become resistant to herbicides, to the point they are being called superweeds.  Planting in the weeds is a big mistake, because the weeds will grow faster than the crop and choke it out.  Jesus says that he that receives the seed among thorns hears the Word and understands it, but the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches choke it out, and he becomes unfruitful.  These two weeds in particular, the cares of life and deceitfulness of riches, must constantly be guarded against.  If we find them arising in our lives, we must pluck them out immediately or risk becoming unfruitful.

"But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit."  This is the ground that we love to plant in.  It has been properly prepared, is weed free, and has plenty of depth.  You never know how much the yield will be, but it will bring forth a good crop according to the growing conditions it encounters.  Jesus says this is he that hears the Word, understands it, and brings forth fruit.  I want to be a fruitful Christian, what about you?

Once again, I come away from this parable with the thought, "Just sow!" It is not for me to judge the soil. It may be in better or worse condition than I can discern. The seed may take hold and bear fruit even if I don't see the possibility. However, there will never be a harvest if we don't at first sow the seed. So let's get out there today and do some sowing!

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