Of course, there is also a negative side of this law where we reap the negative consequences of what others have done. Exodus 20:6; 34:6 and Numbers 14:18 all say the same thing; “God punishes sin to the third and fourth generation.” Do you think what we sow is important? How many have heard of a “crack” baby? Or how about fetal alcohol syndrome?
The Bible says that we all inherit or reap the sin of Adam, and we pass it along to our children. This is not only a sinful nature, but also things children learn and do like; how to be critical; how to find fault with and talk about others behind their back; or how about racism and Semitism? We reap the consequences of foolish and corrupt leaders; we reap the consequences of family decay and divorce. We are quickly becoming a people whom the Bible says “are doing what seems right in their own eyes!”
Available to us is the work of Edward Gibbon, who in 1787 completed his book “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” In it he attributes the fall as being the result of;
- Rapidly increasing divorce.
- Higher taxation.
- A mad craze for pleasure; with sports becoming more exciting and brutal.
- The building of gigantic armaments, when the enemy was within.
- The decay of religion; fading into form and becoming impotent.
Is it ironic, or is it the absolute law of the harvest?
We live in a world of instant gratification. Instant everything like fast foods, instant grits, DSL internet service, we want faster and when we have to wait 30 seconds for something, we get frustrated. It seems as though whether it’s health, or wealth, or spiritual growth, or you name it, we want to reap without ever sowing. We don’t want to put forth an effort; just reap the benefits. Have you ever heard of something called “jogging in a jug”? It’s a concoction of 4 parts grape juice; 4 parts apple juice; 1 part apple cider vinegar…Mmmm. It’s a folk remedy for high cholesterol…a kind of Draino for the arteries! I don’t know if it works, but it is guaranteed to make your face pucker for about 3 minutes. You don’t have to strap on your Nike’s and “Just do it” you could just grab a glass and “just drink it!” And, please pass the jelly donuts!
We laugh, but what we are doing is trying to repeal the law of sowing and reaping. We want to sever the connection between actions and consequences. Not just with our eating habits, but with every area of our lives. We want instant gratification without having to pay the price.
There is a good example in the story of King David in 2 Samuel chapter 11 – It’s the story of David’s affair with Bathsheba. There is an old saying that “sin will take you father than you expected to go, keep you longer than you expected to stay, and cost you more than you expected to pay!” The seed of David’s sin resulted in his families devastation. David’s first child by Bathsheba died; the women of David’s household were sexually assaulted by his own son Absalom; His own daughter was raped by her half-brother; David later lost both of his sons; Amnon was murdered by Absalom and Absalom was killed by Joab for trying to take over his father David’s throne.
Some of the things we read in the Old Testament may seem rather harsh to us, but remember that God has set standards; boundaries; and laws that when crossed or disobeyed, result in unpleasant consequences. Many of you reading this right now know of someone who’s life would be different if not for the “bad or good” seeds sown by their parents…(different season) We can forgive and find forgiveness, but the laws of the harvest can only be changed by the mercy and grace of God.
I myself have sown some bad seeds in the past that I am not proud of, and I am seeing the consequence of that even today, but I have also sown some good seeds, some eternal seeds, of which I may not see the harvest of until Jesus comes again. The difference is that – with the help of God – I began to change the seeds I was planting! The Apostle Paul put it this way in Ephesians 4:22-24 and 5:8-10 – “You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”… “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live then as children of light. For the fruit of the light consists of all goodness; righteousness; and truth, and find out what pleases the Lord. Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…”
Can you see what this would have to do with the law of the harvest? So what is the lesson? If you don’t do anything, you will reap a garden of weeds! But, if you want to see good, fruitful results – no matter what the subject – then you must plant good seeds and do your best to keep out the tares and the weeds! You may or may not see the harvest…but your children and grandchildren will!