What you sow is what you reap
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi - 8/22/97)
People will reap what they sow. It's a law of God. I will talk a little about examples of people that sow. If you sow bad seed, you are going to reap the bad seed which you sow. If you sow good seed you are going to reap what you sow. And in life, we are either sowing good seed, or sowing bad seed.
Example of this is in Jacob. (Gen 27). Jacob cheated his daddy and cheated his brother. In the end we can see that he reaped what he sowed when he himself got cheated. Jacob came to his father.
"And he came unto his father , and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me." (Gen.27:18-19).
That was deception. Jacob deceived his father. The bible said "you will reap what you sow". He deceived his father, got the blessing and ran away. Let's see how he was himself deceived.
Jacob went to stay with his uncle Laban. We know the story how he was also deceived and cheated by Laban. We should ask ourselves "Did God do this to him?" Do you think God was waiting in a corner to clobber the sinner with a club: you did that? wham! get this! No. It is just a law of sowing and reaping already ordained by God. Your sin will find you out. Remember God told Cain "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou does not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." (Gen.4:7). Sin is like a spirit, and will always desire the wicked. It's wages also pursue the sinner.
Whether people like it or not, they will reap what they sow. It's the law of the spirit. However if Jacob had not deceived his daddy, he could have fallen into this deception from Laban. But we will not be saying he reaped anything. We will be looking at Laban as the initiator of the offence. In Genesis 29, 18: "Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me." Laban said this, but he did something else when the time came. Perhaps he couldn't get his older daughter, Leah, to marry to any man before the seven years expired, so he schemed a deception also. In verse 25-26, was where the deception of Jacob was recorded. We can say, Jacob did it to others, and somebody else did it to him. "Do unto others as you want others to do unto you." God will not be ready to defend him or help him out when the situation occurs. It's like the devil will be standing by to accuse the fellow, justifying why he did it. The devil is always the accuser of the brethren. It's not God that did this to Jacob, but the devil. He was reaping what he had sowed. Jacob's time came to get his wife, and he was given the lady in the dark night (before there was electricity). Remember, being sisters, their voice would be very similar. He thought it was Rachel.
"It came to pass, that in the morning, behold it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. (He gave an excuse) Fulfill her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years." (Gen.29:25-26).
Jacob had to marry both of them. What I am pointing out is that Jacob simply reaped what he sowed.
Laban also cheated. He cheated Jacob and he also had to reap what he sowed. Let's see where Laban reaped. As we have read in Genesis chapter 29 was where Laban cheated Jacob. In Genesis chapter 30, was where Laban also was cheated. Jacob specified his wages, and began to cheat Laban. They were in the same boat. Jacob was negotiating his wages after he had paid up the dowry for the wives: "I will pass through all thy flock today, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: everyone that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
And Laban said, Behold I would it might be according to thy word." (Gen.30:32-34).
Laban thought it was okay. The cheating began when Jacob started to use a form of hypnosis to make the cattle produce speckled and ringstraked.
"And it came to pass whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's." (Gen.30:41-42).
Laban became jealous, but he was actually reaping what he sowed.
What type of seed are you sowing in life? The law of the spirit is sure: a man reaps what he sows.
"He that soweth iniquity, shall reap vanity, and the rod of his anger shall fail." (Prov.22:8). This verse means you may be angry when the reaping shows up, but God will not defend you.
Let's talk about those who sowed good seed and reaped good fruits.
The Shunemite Woman:
In 2Kgs.4, let's see the story of this woman who ministered to Elisha. "It fell on a day that Elisha passed to Shunem where was a great woman. And she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread." (2Kgs.4:8).
Whatever was her reason, the woman gave food to Elisha regularly. She was sowing seed. Whatever was her motive, whether from the godoodness of her heart, or because she saw that Elisha was a man of God. She told her husband to make a room for Elisha. She had been sowing. Now in verse 13, she was going to reap. Elisha said to his servant "what can we do for this woman?" They realized she had no child. Elisha was going to decree a child be granted to her: "And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son." (2Kgs.4:16). And it was so. That was the first reaping of what she had sowed. Later when that child died, the woman ran to Elisha, and Elisha came back and raised the child back to life. The woman sowed hospitality and she reaped good reward. It confirms the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ when he said "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward, and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward." (Mat.10:41).
"Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breadth of his nostrils are they consumed. " (Job.4:8-9).
Whatever someone sows shall one reap. To sow good seed may not be easy at times. The next scripture points this out.
"They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy." (Psa.126:5).
Sometime it is not convenient to sow the good seed, to do good that one ought to do. Like the Shunemite woman giving out food out of her own finance. She had to spend some money. She had to cook the meal. It was an effort to do those things. It did not seem that Elisha was going to pay for those efforts right away. That wass like sowing in tears. She reaped in joy.
Another example is in giving out gospel tracts. We printed those tracts. We paid the printers for them. We send them out freely to people. It's like sowing in tears. People who are farmers will attest to this. You go out into the field, to sow your seed. It may be raining upon your back while you hurried to finish the sowing. You are sowing in tears. It's always a labor when sowing. You cannot wait till it's comfortable. If people wait till it is comfortable, nobody will get to sow anything. Sowing the good seed is always going to be with some pain. It take some tears, or sweat. You are sowing in tears, but the promise is, you will reap in joy. Verse 6 went further: "He that goeth forth and weepeth," the psalmist is telling you that there may be some weeping involved in order to do good.
"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psa.126:6).
There may be pain in sowing good seed. There may be some spending involved.
Apostle Paul also wrote that if you sow little, you will reap little. If you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully. It does not have to be in material things. You may sow kindness, and love. "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?" (1Cor.9:11). "But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." (2Cor.9:6).
Another example of sowing and reaping was seen in Jonathan the son of king Saul. As a friend of David, he was sowing love into David's life while Saul his father wanted to destroy David. Jonathan loved David whereas Saul his father wanted to kill David. Jonathan showed his love again in 1Sam.20:42. "And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever." When David ran away from Saul, Jonathan came to encourage him. He was sowing the seed of love and encouragement into David's ministry, by just being there for him. "And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth." (1Sam.23:16-17).
Jonathan was satisfied to be the number two man, instead of trying to kill David to be the number one man as Saul preferred. He was sowing the seed of love. Jonathan sowed love and he reaped mercy for his descendants. After Jonathan was dead, Jonathan's son reaped mercy from king David. "And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?' (2Sam.9:1). It was told David that Jonathan had a son which was lame on his feet, whose name was Mephibosheth.
"Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually." (2Sam. 9:6-7). Jonathan sowed love and reaped mercy and kindness for his descendants.
Sow love and ye shall reap love. Those who sow wickedness also shall reap the same. "For every man shall bear his own burden" (Gal.6:5).
"If the cloud be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth. If the tree fall toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." (Eccl.11:3).
It means, whereever you sow your seed, there you shall find the fruit. In verse 5, "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap."
It is good and necessary to try as much as possible to be sowing the seed of kindness, love, mercy, giving of our time, ministrying to the necessity of the saints, and so on. For us to do these, we must know that it takes efforts. We must be ready to spend of ourselves for these things. There is a lot of labor, some sweating. That is why the scripture said, they sow in tears, to reap in joy. We cannot be looking for conveniences. He that is looking to do good only when it is convenient will not sow the good seed. But those who sow bad seed don't look for convenience. When you want to sow good seed, the devil will bring the inconveniences to the forefront so that you will not do what you like to do. You just must sow in tears so that you can reap in joy.
"In the morning, sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." (Eccl.11:6).
Morning, afternoon, evening, keep sowing. It's like this prayer meeting. The prophecy at the begining of the meeting said, "keep on praying. .... I will give to every one according as his works shall be......" Remember that a prayer meeting like this night-vigil is a work when others are sleeping. Sometime we may feel like "let's just postpone the prayer meeting tonight". But it is a mandate for me to keep on doing the prayer meeting. Without planning this, the Lord reminds me of the vision I saw this morning. I said it is a mandate from the Lord that I keep doing the prayer meeting. In this vision, talking about a city (Kalamazoo?). There was a huge tree with huge branches, with a lot of leaves shading the inhabitants of the city. Then there was a huge sickle cutting off the branches, like the scripture said "my father will purge it that it may bring forth more fruit". Except that this purging in this vision was for a different reason. While he was doing this, I came by and when he cut off some branches, I helped to hold some branches for him to cut so that the branch does not fall on the people below. The people under the shade cried out "why?" And the voice spoke and said poetically, "there has been thundering and lightening, but the tree does not let the people feel it."
The reason why I bring in this prophecy is because I said the Lord made it a mandate for me to keep on doing the prayer meeting. I am reminded that I helped to hold some of the branches as they were being cut. Could it not be that the Lord uses this little prayer meeting to effect some things as he gives us prayer points. Yes, sometimes the prayer meeting is not convenient at the night hours, but the psalmist said: "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy."
Let us be like the servants who waited for their master to return from a wedding at midnight. If the master tarried so long, they will grow weary and sleepy. But that is the effort they have to put into it, to keep themselves awake to open to him immediately when he knocks. "They have to sow in tears." When he knocks, if they opened immediately saying, "we are not sleeping sir", the Lord said, the master will make them to sit down to meat and serve them himself. Now they are reaping. (Lk.12:35-38).
May the Lord give every believer the grace to sow the seed of righteousness so that we may all reap in joy, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry