Seedtime and Harvest
By Bernard Timmerman
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, and summer and winter and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22
God speaks of seed time in his promise to Noah and to us. God said by the pen of Moses, “While the earth remaineth”. This is for our generation 4,000 years after the flood. God promises eight different things in that promise, seedtime the first – night the last.
The first we read of seed is in the creation week, in the sixth day of that week, he is providing for that which he has created. An Genesis 1:29 we read, “and God said, behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be to you for meat.” God is a God of order both in nature and in grace.
Soon after the wonderful creation man sinned. In that sin Adam died as God said he would. “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Love to God died. Faith in God was also dead. But, God had prepared a way, a new and living way. Once again the word seed is used. God said to Satan and Adam and Eve, “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed, and it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heal” Genesis 3:15. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were farmers. Cain and Abel also were farmers. Abel believed that promise given of the seed; Cain did not.
The first seed created was temporal. As a former farmer, all the seeds that I planted and harvested are gone but the seed of the woman is the eternal Son of God. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 The promise of that seed was later given to Abram in Genesis 12:3, again to Abraham after his name was changed, Genesis 22: 18. Also given to Isaac, Genesis 26:4, and to Jacob Genesis 28:14. Paul wrote to the Galatians stating, “to Abraham was the gospel preached”, Galatians 3:8 and in verse 16, “He saith not to seeds as of many but as of one and to thy seed which is Christ.” If we have that seed in our heart by faith, then we are also Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. Paul spoke of that blessing recognizing it as God’s covenant in Christ, verse 17. Peter also spoke of it, and Luke recorded it in Acts 3:25,26 - God’s covenant promising Christ, the seed of the woman and also Abrahams seed.
Going back to the first seed created, it can bring us much in time but as Christ stated, “what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Matthew 16:26. Also, a parable in the last part of which we read, “But God said to him thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou has provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20,21. “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” Luke 8:14
Oh how the seeds of the earth can be a blessing but also a curse if they are not for the glory of God, and they can only be that, if we have the seed which is Christ for the glory of his grace.
In spite of this great and eternal need of the soul, God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. God is always dealing with both in regard to seedtime and harvest, our spiritual blessing and also for judgment. We read in Romans 9:22b, “endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And in verse 23, “and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory.” Read also Ephesians 1:4,5,6. Nature speaks to all mankind as well as does the word of God. Psalm 19, Romans 1:19-23; 10:1; Acts 17:30.
God has been faithful in nature according to his promise, but because of sin there are the thorns and thistles. Genesis 3:18. There were famines in the life of Abram, Genesis 12:10; Isaac, Genesis 26:1 and many times in the history of Israel – Jacob and his family going into Egypt, but God had already prepared a place through Joseph. Genesis 50:20
n all this, though Abraham had much; 318 servants, much in animals so there was not room for both his and Lot’s in the same area. God having blessed Abraham promises him the land as far as he could walk in the length of it and the breadth of it. Genesis 13:17 and to his seed (earthly seed) for an everlasting possession, Genesis 12:7; 15:18, repeated many times, and later repeated by Moses. Yet we read in Hebrews 11:16, “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he hath prepared for them a city”. We can pray for the sunshine to dry the earth and at times the rain but how much more we need to pray for the Son of righteousness to rise and shine in our hearts.
One day God made me to pray, “I have all these things, but I don’t have Christ” a teaching for which I can forever be thankful. John 6:45
We think also of Job described as a man that was perfect and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 she asses, a very great household. He was the greatest of all the men of the East. We read how he offered burnt offerings for his sons and daughters and then came Satan, yes Satan, he is real; an accuser of not only Job but of the brethren – today as well as then. God allows Satan to do what he did, but also set bounds. You hopefully all know the story. If not, read it. At first after losing all except his wife, we read in Job 1:21,22 first that he worshipped and said, “naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord” In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.
What a lesson for us even in this beginning with Job, “nor charged God foolishly”. How often we hear, “why this or why that?” We should rather ask, “what should I learn through these things that do happen, all under God’s hand?” Job learned much about God through the message about God’s wisdom and power in creation. We must also learn that and make it known. Job 38-41
Job later did sin first being reproved by Elihu, Chapters 32-37. Some speak against Elihu for doing this but we see not only Elihu but God also reproving Job in chapter 38-41. Then Job also confessed, “Behold I am vile what shall I answer thee. I will lay my hand upon my mouth”, Job 40:4. Later, “I uttered that I understood not, things too wonderful which I knew not”. After losing his children and possessions, his wife told him to curse God and die! He had sore boils over his whole body. Then, yes then, in God’s time and way, he gave Job more than in his beginning. 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, 1,000 she asses, 7 sons and 3 daughters but far greater, was the blessing also given in Job 42:5 “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear but now my eye seeth the, wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
What a blessing, “now my eye seeth thee”. He had said earlier, “I know my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Job 19:25. Also in verse 27, “Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold.” Job now learned that also in the present time it could be true, “but now my eye seeth thee”. Christ said,”your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad”. John 8:56
We should also be able to see the Godhead and power in nature. Romans 1:19-23; Psalm 19; Acts 17:30. “The heavens declare the glory of God, but above all, see God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Paul takes us back once more to creation and writes to the Corinthians and us, “for God who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness; hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:6. See him also as Isaiah describes him “as many were astonied at thee: his visage was so marred, more than any man and his form more than the sons of men”. Isaiah 52:14. But then, “wherefore God hath also highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name: Philippians 2:9. He is the one, who with the Father and the Spirit in nature and in grace, is now making all things to work together for good to them that love God , to them that are called according to his purpose.”
All of God’s promises are yea and amen in Christ Jesus unto the glory of God by us. II Corinthians 1:20
Although the promise given is that seedtime and harvest will not fail, there may be chastening but that can bring even a greater blessing. With Job, not first in more earthly possessions, but in his fuller relationship with God.
We must always believe in and trust the Lord. Proverbs 3:5,6.
“Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:5
“But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth”. Deuteronomy 8:18a
I once had a professor, who wrote his doctorate on some of the men of science in England ask, “What are you going to do in the coming ice age?” My answer was, “plant crops because God said there would be seedtime as long as the earth remaineth. “ Even better – believe on the seed of the woman also promised to Abraham and David. God’s word will not return void. Isaiah 55:11 Today those same people as well as others are speaking of climate change. We need to learn the awful danger of the change from earth to hell as Paul knew it and persuaded people. “Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men.” II Corinthians 5:11.
We must plant the seed which is the word of God, all of its message: creation, law, judgment, repentance, faith, the gospel of Christ, doctrine, obedience. We must have and continue in God’s word, having it to set us free. John 8:31,32. It must begin with prayer and continue in prayer for all things. Not just our daily bread, but that God’s name will be hallowed and his kingdom will come. His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.