God’s PRINCIPLE of SOWING and REAPING: "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He, who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalms 126:5-6)
Psalms 126 is the seventh step of the ‘Song of Ascents’ that the pilgrims recited as they journeyed to the temple in Jerusalem. This psalm divides itself into a narrative (vv.1-2), a song (v.3), a prayer (v.4), and a promise (vv.5-6). Psalm 126 has also been divided into three parts by Bible scholars as this psalm describes the joy that should arise in us as a result of our position in Christ:
- Joy is freedom (vv.1-3)…in Christ: As we yield ourselves to Christ in total obedience, He reproduces Himself in us and enables us to be totally free to do His will.
- Joy is fullness (v.4)…in Christ: God can fill our empty lives the way that the rains fill the dry riverbeds in the desert.
- Joy is fruitfulness (vv.5-6)…in Christ: A fruitful Christian experiences God’s power and fulfills complete potential which can only come through understanding and adhering God’s principle of sowing and reaping.
What is God’s principle of sowing and reaping?
Psalms 126:5-6 describes a process that goes against our natural tendencies when we are taken into a difficult period in our lives. Whenever we are hurled into a crisis that brings tears, our natural tendency is to recoil in fear and hurt, and subsequently retreat into a corner. However, there is a better way that God tells us to handle such times of travail and pain. God is telling us that if we do something unnatural, we will reap extraordinary joy in our lives. When faced with difficult circumstances, rather than sitting back and allowing self-pity and discouragement to consume us, we should plant seeds during this time. We need to reach out and see where we can be a blessing to others as we give ourselves in this task.
The psalmist acknowledges that we are sowing seeds while we are in our pain. The seeds will return to us in another form – in the form of sheaves, which represents multiplied blessings. We will receive joy and fruit from the seeds that we plant during this time. Sheaves represent the fruit of a harvest – we will gain abundant harvest from the seeds that we plant in other people’s lives.
If we find ourselves in a difficult place today, let us attempt to go against our natural tendencies to sow seeds of blessings in other people’s lives – undoubtedly we shall soon reap great harvest of joy. These seeds can also be the word of God that we plant in other’s hearts – no doubt these seeds will germinate through the power of the Holy Spirit and we will see the fruit of a great harvest right before our eyes!
"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. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Gal 6:7-10)