By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Harvest time is a season for gathering! It can be of a beneficial nature or sometimes devastating depending on the elements involved. Scripture establishes the fact that while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will always be a part of the makeup of God's Creation. (Comment)
As previously mentioned harvest time can be a time of rejoicing or devastating as revealed in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. The parable reveals that the kingdom of heaven is likened to a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way (Matthew 13:24-25).
The tare was a weed that resembled wheat but did not come to fruition. Scripture records that the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Why then has it tares? He said to them, an enemy has done this (Matthew 13:27-28).
Harvest time will differentiate the wheat from the tares, for the householder said: Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather up together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (Matthew 13:30).
Scripture explains the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares: The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sows them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world: and the reapers are the angels.
As the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man (or the Lord Jesus Christ) shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which practice iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:39-43).
Again, harvest time will be a time of great rejoicing for some; while others, who have been deceived by the devil (1 Corinthians 4:3-4), it will be a devastating and frightening time!
The prophet Joel brings it closer to home concerning harvest time, in speaking the words of the Lord: Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: Come, and get you down; for the winepress is full, and the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision (Joel 3:13-14).
A Bible commentary noted: The scene is not one where the multitudes are in the midst of making a decision in favor of the Lord and repenting of their sin. Rather, the decision is made by God, a decision to judge the multitudes for their treatment of His people.
Judgment will be meted out against them, on the Day of the Lord, that takes place in the Great Tribulation Period. Those words give an entire new meaning towards harvest time; that for many will be a fearful and endless time of torment in the place called Hell, for refusing to adhere to the call for repentance.
God's token judgments on the land of Israel, is identified by the prophet Amos: I have given you hunger in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places: yet have you not returned to me, saith the Lord. I have witholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to harvest time: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and to rain upon another: one piece was rained upon, and the piece where it rained not withered (Amos 4:6-7).
God was attempting to get Israel's attention, in the days of the prophet Amos: What would it take today to gain the attention of those who have forsaken Him? What would bring once godly nations back to His full blessings again? What would bring the much needed rain from heaven again?
God gives the answer in His Word: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14)!
Thank God for grace! Had He been able to get the attention of Israel, in prophet Amos days, His judgment would not have been forthcoming; such an opportunity is being extended today towards the repentant in heart!
Jesus, in speaking to His disciples, said: Say not, there are yet four months, and then comes the harvest. Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35). The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:37-38).
God's Word addresses the slackness of man towards harvest time: He that gathers in summer is as a wise son; but he that sleeps in harvest is a son that causes shame (Proverbs 10:5). The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest time, having nothing (Proverbs 20:4).
The sluggard was too lazy to plow when the opportunity availed itself and would later pay for his misdeed. Jesus said: I must work while it is day; the hour comes, when no man can work (John 9:4). The window of opportunity is open to all who will willingly proclaim the name of Christ to the World. What has become known as the Great Commission identifies such a command:
Go, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (or that of God's Spirit). Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).
There may be a time that harvest time (a window of opportunity) will not be as readily available. Such is now open, towards the spreading of the Gospel message; the field of ripe for harvest, and rewarding, to the one who will allow themselves to be a laborer for the Lord!
You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its flavor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men (Matthew 5:13). Salt adds flavoring, acts as a preservative, melts coldness, and heals wounds.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
A Bible commentary noted: The light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (or salt) to meet the world's needs and he has a mission (or light) to the world. His light clearly shines forth into the darkness of human depravity. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.
Such are words of encouragement towards seeing the harvest time, as Jesus did, that one will not only pray to the Lord of the harvest for laborers to go forth, but will be one of those laborers, towards the saving of souls!
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