Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Seeds and words ............................. Parables 126

When my dad was actively farming, he had a grain cleaner and dryer in one granary. He used it himself, and often other farmers asked him to dry their seed.

Sometimes he complained because those jobs required extra effort. The bins and drying racks had to be clean; otherwise, the seed would not pass inspection.

As he prepared his #1 seed gain, it also had to pass a germination test. He would use a flat box and plant exactly 100 seeds in it. He kept them moist and in a sunny place. If more than 95% of the seeds grew, the gain was considered excellent for seed. If the germination was poor, that crop was used for cattle feed.

My dad obviously went out to the field to plant his crops. But from the planting on, it grew by itself, matured, and then reopened. There were some lean years when dad barely got his seed back, but most of the time it was a bumper crop.

I watched and learned about seeds. Good seed consistently grew and produced a good harvest. If it was immature, it would not germinate. If it was dirty, weeds would grow up with it and choke it out. If it was too moist, it would rot in storage. It wasn’t useless, but it was not suitable to reproduce itself.

Later, when I became a Christian, I noticed that Jesus talked a lot about seeds. He used them in parables to illustrate spiritual truth. Usually the seed referred to the Word of God. The crop was the righteousness produced in a person’s life when they let the Seed take root in their hearts.

Also, I found out that His Seed (His Word) is pure and clean, free from contaminants. It tests 100% in spite of the various attacks on it and years of effort to change it.

One of Jesus’ most familiar stories is the parable of the sower. He tells of seed scattered by a sower. If it lands on the roadway, it never even starts to grow. If it hits the soil, but the soil is shallow with hard pan under it, the seed springs up only to die because it has no root. If weeds are present, they grow up with the seed and choke it. However, when the seed is planted in good soil, it produces a bumper crop.

Jesus explained the soils are like our hearts. For some, the Word hits hard hearts and nothing happens. For others, they like what they hear, but a little too much “heat” makes them wither. Still others start to grow, but other attractions choke their interest. He said that only a good and honest heart has favorable conditions for a bumper crop. (Luke 8:15)

Jesus doesn’t say how Scripture produces righteousness. It’s just like the grain that is planted in the earth, growing without the farmer knowing how. However, the seed doesn’t get in the soil all by itself. The farmer has to do something — put it there.

God’s righteousness cannot be produce without the pure Seed of God’s Word, but He promises each chapter and verse planted in a receptive heart will “not return void — it will accomplish that which (God) intends. . . .” (Isaiah 55:11)

Grain and garden seeds sometimes disappoint us, but the Word of God never will.

Excuse me. I need to get back to my farming.

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