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Daughter of the King - born from above in 1989.

Deborah grew up in a military family and moved to Florida in the early 1970's.  She began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her writing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Autumn is Here - The Harvest is Ripe

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night, shall not cease.  (Genesis 8:22)

In the New Testament, Jesus related the harvest to those He taught, healed, and ministered to.  He was moved with compassion for them, equating them to sheep without a shepherd. He told the disciples and others who followed Him that there was a need for workers in the Kingdom of God - to labor for a harvest of souls.  He says the same thing to us today:

In Matthew 9:37-38 He declared, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” 

And in John 4:35 He said, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”

A little history about harvesting - 

In agriculture, the harvest is the process of gathering mature crops from the fields.   Reaping is the cutting of grain for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper.   The harvest marks the end of the growing season, or the growing cycle for a particular crop,

The end of the summer ushers in the beginning of fall, a time marked by crops and their harvestFor the Hebrew people, as for those in any agricultural district today, the harvest was a most important season (Gen 8:22; 45:6).  The three principal feasts of the Jews corresponded to the three harvest seasons (Ex 23:16; 34:21,22).  They were: 

1.  The feast of the Passover in April at the time of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22). 

2.  The feast of Pentecost (7 weeks later) at the wheat harvest (Ex 34:22). 

3.  The feast of Tabernacles at the end of the year (October) during the fruit harvest.   


The Feast of Pentecost was a harvest festival through which the people expressed thanksgiving to God for the grain harvest and other crops (Numbers 28).  The feast was also known as the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Firstfruits.

Many precise laws were instituted regarding the harvest. Gleaning was forbidden (Lev 19:9; 23:22; Deut 24:19).  And the first-fruits were required to be presented to Yahweh (Lev 23:10).

In present day Israel, the harvest festival is celebrated in the form of the Succoth; Succoth has historical roots which date back to the time when the Hebrews traveled to Israel (Canaan) and set up living booths along the way. A booth was known as a succah and people ate and worshiped in this space; farmers also lived in a succah at harvest time and gave thanks for the harvest.  Today, the Succoth festival lasts for seven days, in September/October, and it is still traditional to build a shelter where families gather to give thanks, share meals and live together for the time of the Succoth festival.  A simple succah is built from tree branches, flowers and fruits and decorated with gold and blue material, leaving one side open. The Succoth is also known as the Jewish Harvest Festival.
 
Sowing and reaping is an eternal principle. 

Jesus taught that the one who sowed and the one who received wages for reaping, together rejoiced over the harvest.  He revealed this truth to His disciples after the encounter with the Samaritan woman by the well telling them, “For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors” (John 4:37-38). 

The Apostle Paul encourages us to continue in our efforts of sowing into God’s Kingdom.  In Galatians 6 he states, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Revelation 14:14-15 tells us, “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."

The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed this in response to his heartache over the nation of Israel’s unrepentant hearts: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!”  (Jeremiah 8:20)

Lord Jesus, harvest our hearts for Your work in the fields of a lost world.  

As we continue to stand in the gap for our unsaved spouses, may we also continue to sow in the Spirit using prayer, the Word of God, and our good deeds to plant in the garden of their souls. 

Do you want to display a bounty of spiritual fruit to your mate?  Then begin preparing the soil of your heart to receive the Godly tools necessary to plant those tiny seeds and nurture them as they sprout.

In order to reap a harvest of ripe, juicy, attractive fruit – we need to sow the seeds of those fruits: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.


The harvest in our marriage will be the unity in the Spirit that we have always longed for...


Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

  Refrain:
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

 Bringing in the Sheaves by  Knowles Shaw, 1874   (Psalm 126:5-6)





 


Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”.  It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

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8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these great words today. Harvest is this months theme on christianwriters.com blog chain. It is so important to harvest the fruits the Lord has given us.

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  2. Thanks so much for stopping by Debra! And yes - harvesting our fruit for others to see is key to keeping our witness fresh and our hearts used for God's greater glory, Amen?

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  3. I appreciate your kind words Nicole! Thank you...

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  4. Great words, Deborah!

    Because we never know where someone is in their harvest cycle, we should faithfully minister to those with whom we come in contact. Who knows? We may be the ones who lead them to Christ after so many others in their lives planted seeds way before we came along.

    I like the hymn, "Bringing in the Sheaves." It reminds me of Little House on the Prairie. It seems they used to sing it all the time in their church services. :)

    Blessings, my sister.
    Daphne

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  5. You bless me with your comments Daphne! So true that we plant seed, others water and God brings the increase. It's all about HIM and His drawing our loved ones close to whisper in their ears and tug on their hearts. God bless!

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  6. So true, Deborah! So true! Wonderful post. I always love reading about the Jewish festivals. And I haven't heard Bringing in the Sheaves in ages. Thanks for adding it. Blessings!

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  7. Thank you Lynn - great to see you here! There's just something about the harvest and the autumn - I love it! And yes - I was lying in bed and the Lord brought that hymn to mind :)

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