Our pastor taught recently about tithing, sowing, and reaping. His tithing topic was just excellent, drawing our attention to the fact that Scripture tells us to test God out in this area of our lives (see Malachi 3:10). Why would God tell us to test Him in this? A challenge? I loved that pastor said not a word about how much the church needs or doesn’t need our tithes, just that God tells us to tithe and to watch what will happen. The following Sunday pastor shared about sowing and reaping. These two areas, tithing, and sowing and reaping, go hand-in-hand. We are told in 2 Cor 9:6, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (NKJV).
I was pleasantly surprised to come across a Scripture the other day. I was searching for Scripture to back up a Bible study I was preparing and came across Gen.2:8a, “ The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden…” (NKJV). I never saw this before! God planted a garden. This was during the time that God was creating everything we know today as our world. He could have easily just created the garden where He would place Adam and Eve, but no, the Word says He planted the garden!
What are the ramifications of this short verse? For some reason, this was huge to me. Our God, this amazing and creative God, could make something out of nothing. I don’t know how He did this, but He created. I’m sorry to say that my finite brain has a hard time wrapping itself around the idea of creating something out of nothing, and so my only sad reference to this phenomenon is to a nose that wiggles and things happen! I cannot fathom how God did all this creating. I’m reminded of Psalm 139 when David states what I’m feeling about a God that can do the impossible. It is just too amazing and wonderful for me to take it all in.
God planted the Garden of Eden. Our God knows about sowing and reaping. He knows about sowing seeds, tending to them, nursing them along, and the resultant harvest that would come. He knows about getting your hands dirty. He knows about how you can get lost in the mere act of pulling weeds. He knows the peaceful feeling of sitting in the dirt, tending to fragile growing things, helping them get a good start so they will produce tasty bounty at a dinner table. Oh yes, He knows very intimately about the process of sowing and reaping.
As I sit here this late fall day, knowing that my garden is put to sleep for another season, I already find myself longing again for the peaceful act of tending to living, growing things. My God did much the same thing in this act of “planting” the garden. But, there’s far more to God’s plan for sowing and reaping than just the idea of a garden…I’m reminded that sowing and reaping contain implications to my walk with Him, my family, work, ministry, finances and more. As I sow into reading His Word, I reap life, truth, and “living water” to myself. As I sow into my family, I reap great satisfaction and love. And on it goes, this sowing and reaping, into every aspect of my life.
I love it that our God gave us so many true-to-life, modeling examples so we would know exactly what to do in this life. He planted a garden, a very basic and easy place to start, both the story of us and the example of what our task is here on earth. What is God asking you to tend to right now? Do you hear Him? Be encouraged because as you “tend to” your assignment of sowing, God will send an abundant harvest for you to reap.