May 14 ·
We are still called to work His garden
I was working in the garden Sunday morning before church and as I did I was contemplating something that has stirred in me many times through the years as I have tended to my gardens.
Adam was created and placed in Gods garden and told to tend to it (Gen 2:4-5).
4 This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil.
We are told that though the earth was created but nothing was yet growing for lack of 2 things, Water and a man to cultivate the earth (verse 5).
8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God planted a garden and filled the entire earth with of every kind of tree and plant. The garden was different and held 2 special trees in it, one to bring forth life and the other to bring forth death. Man’s first assignment was to take care of and rule over the garden. I believe that this first assignment resides within our souls as a latent command.
Gen 3: 23 So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made
Once Adam fell the ground which had so easily yielded to his cultivating was now cursed to where he would have to work hard for it. God drove Adam out of the garden and gave him a revised directive; he was now to cultivate the ground outside the garden, or the rest of the earth.
Now let’s look at the new testament and think about two parables of Jesus from Matthew 13. First look at the parable of the sower sowing the seed.
3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Jesus ties the word of God and the preaching of His will and intent to man as a man sowing seed into the world. He then goes on with the same theme and tells the parable of the farmer and the 2 types of seed.
Matt 13: 24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. 27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. 29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
36 Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” 37 Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 39 The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.
We are told that a farmer planted good seed in his field but an enemy came and planted bad seed among them so that they were both growing together. In verses 37-43 Jesus explains that He is the one planting the wheat and the devil is the one planting the tares. The world is the field and the good seed is the souls of those in the kingdom and the tares are those headed for destruction.
Gods plans for man are the same now as they were for Adam. We are to take His good seed and plant it into the earth and tend to it in order to bring Him a good harvest. Now let’s look to the writings of Paul:
1 Cor. 3: 5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
Here is the same picture carried forward where we are servants of the kingdom planning the good seed of the Lord. We all do our part working in Gods garden and tending to it. Some plant, some water and some harvest but God is the one causing the seed to grow.
Mat 9: 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
So to summarize: When I am working in my garden and planting, watering (pulling weeds) and ultimately harvesting I am working out and displaying Gods will for me as a believer in this world. I am to take the good seed He has given me which is His Word and plant it into His field which is the world of men around me. I am to nurture that seed wherever I find it whether it be in the ground requiring watering or weeding or if I am blessed to be the one who is used to harvest the good crop.
I am to understand that this is a team effort and there are many working in His field. I am to do my part when I am presented with the opportunity. I will encounter bad seed growing also mixed in with the good seed but that should not deter me or slow me down, God will separate the two when the time comes. My focus is to tend to His plantings and to fill the earth with His Kingdom. In the same way that Adam was sent out of the garden and given the larger assignment of cultivating the entire world we are told to “go into all the world”. Gods plans have never changed, they have been clarified.
The last scripture is from mark 16 and it is the passage on the great commission. Jesus is sending His men again into the world to plant the seed of the kingdom. The exciting part of this passage is He lists some of the tools He was going to provide us with to make the process more productive. The job doesn’t get easier but just as in the natural when we introduce tools like tractors and combines the work is the same but the scale and scope is magnified. We need Gods tools so that we can maximize his harvest. Next Sunday May 20th will be Pentecost Sunday, let’s pray towards it and remember when the master fulfilled his promise and gave His holy Spirit and distributed the tools to His people.
Mark 16: 15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”