Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You REAP what you SOW

A verse that I quote and meditate on just about every day is found in Galatians 6:7. What a powerful truth. Please read it slowly, then let's discuss it:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

This principle is so true that Paul begins by telling us not to question its validity! He says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” The word “deceived” comes from the Greek word planao, which means to lead astray; to wander; to stagger; to be led off course; or to be affected by someone’s outside influence and led in a wrong direction. The word planao is usually used in the New Testament to depict the activity of false teachers who deliberately lead people from liberty into teaching that enslaves them in some kind of spiritual bondage.

When Paul wrote this verse, the language he used was a command coupled with a very strong prohibition. This means he was forbidding his readers from participating in something that seemed to have already been initiated. Because he spoke so prohibitively, it could correctly be translated, “Stop being deceived.” He was rebuking a weakness that was already developing among the Galatians and that he wanted to halt! Could it be that false teachers were trying to tell the Galatians that the law of sowing and reaping didn’t really work? It seems so.

We also live in a day and time when the law of sowing and reaping is challenged by those who do not embrace its truth. Many scoff at those who believe that God will multiply their financial seed back to them again; some even try to use their influence to persuade people to abandon their belief in such a doctrine. Unfortunately, sometimes people who are young and unstable in the Word are caught in the middle of this war of words. A doubt sown here and there makes them question the validity of whether or not the law of sowing and reaping applies to finances. In the end, many of these new believers let go of their grip on this promise and walk away.

But those deceivers who blatantly take a stand against the promise of God will one day answer for their actions. Paul stands firm on the principle of sowing and reaping and lets his voice be heard as he states, “God is not mocked.” The word “mocked” is the Greek word mukteridzo, and it means to turn up one’s nose at someone, as if mocking or laughing at the person. The idea is of someone who arrogantly says, “Come on, you surely don’t believe this stupid principle of sowing and reaping. How dumb can you be to believe that God will multiply what you sow!”

One noted scholar has commented that this type of attitude usually comes from a person who had a sour experience when he tried to apply the law of sowing and reaping to his finances. For some reason, he didn’t get the results he expected, so now he acts as though this principle isn’t true or applicable to anyone. Thus, he turns up his nose at the law of God, challenging the validity of it and asserting that whatsoever a man soweth is not always what he reaps. Paul doesn’t want this negativism and unbelief to worm its way into the thinking of the Galatian church, so he speaks loudly, firmly, and prohibitively, commanding the Galatian believers to disassociate themselves with anyone who dares to turn up his nose at the law of sowing and reaping.

Then Paul boldly declares what he believes: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The word “soweth” is the word speiro, which refers to any seed that is sown. Notice the emphasis on any seed that is sown. This immediately alerts us to the fact that this law is not applicable only to finances, but to anything in life. It applies to love, to work, to time, to patience, to kindness, to forgiveness, to bitterness, to selfishness — and, of course, to money. All of these are potential “seeds” that we sow.

Making the definition of “soweth” even broader is the word “whatsoever,” which in Greek is the word ean. This word literally throws open the door, for it means whatever; whatever thing; or no matter what a man sows. Again, Paul lets us know that this is a law of God that applies to every sphere of life with no exceptions. It is simply a fact: Whatever you sow, regardless of what it is, you will reap it. The Greek tense does not denote a single, one-time sowing; rather, it pictures a person who continually, habitually sows. Therefore, it could be translated, “Whatsoever a man sows, sows, sows, and sows — and keeps on habitually sowing and sowing and sowing.” In other words, this describes a constant, steady, perpetual sowing of seed. And if you sow this seed steadily and faithfully, God’s promise is that you will reap a harvest.

It does matter WHAT you sow, because THAT is what you will reap. If you SOW anger, you will REAP anger. If you SOW love, you will REAP love. We need to be careful with the seed that we are planting, because it will come back to us. We will continue looking at this verse in tomorrow's blog. Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


Treasure Seeker said...

Great Word! Thanks for sharing!
love ya!