Sparkling Gems from the Greek - Week of July 28
Week of July 28
Whatsoever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap!
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
It has been my pleasure to stand before my precious Russian congregation many thousands of times over the years and to boldly tell them, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
This principle is so true that Paul begins by telling us not to question its validity! He says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked.…" The word "deceived" comes from the Greek word planao, which means to lead astray; to wander; to stagger; to be led off course; or to be affected by someone's outside influence and led in a wrong direction. The word planao is usually used in the New Testament to depict the activity of false teachers who deliberately lead people from liberty into teaching that enslaves them in some kind of spiritual bondage.
When Paul wrote this verse, the language he used was a command coupled with a very strong prohibition. This means he was forbidding his readers from participating in something that seemed to have already been initiated. Because he spoke so prohibitively, it could correctly be translated, "Stop being deceived." He was rebuking a weakness that was already developing among the Galatians and that he wanted to halt! Could it be that false teachers were trying to tell the Galatians that the law of sowing and reaping didn't really work? It seems so.
We also live in a day and time when the law of sowing and reaping is challenged by those who do not embrace its truth. Many scoff at those who believe that God will multiply their financial seed back to them again; some even try to use their influence to persuade people to abandon their belief in such a doctrine.
Unfortunately, sometimes people who are young and unstable in the Word are caught in the middle of this war of words. A doubt sown here and there makes them question the validity of whether or not the law of sowing and reaping applies to finances. In the end, many of these new believers let go of their grip on this promise and walk away. But those deceivers who blatantly take a stand against the promise of God will one day answer for their actions.
Paul stands firm on the principle of sowing and reaping and lets his voice be heard as he states, "...God is not mocked...." The word "mocked" is the Greek word mukteridzo, and it means to turn up one's nose at someone, as if mocking or laughing at the person. The idea is of someone who arrogantly says, "Come on, you surely don't believe this stupid principle of sowing and reaping. How dumb can you be to believe that God will multiply what you sow!"
One noted scholar has commented that this type of attitude usually comes from a person who had a sour experience when he tried to apply the law of sowing and reaping to his finances. For some reason, he didn't get the results he expected, so now he acts as though this principle isn't true or applicable to anyone. Thus, he turns up his nose at the law of God, challenging the validity of it and asserting that whatsoever a man soweth is not always what he reaps.
Paul doesn't want this negativism and unbelief to worm its way into the thinking of the Galatian church, so he speaks loudly, firmly, and prohibitively, commanding the Galatian believers to disassociate themselves with anyone who dares to turn up his nose at the law of sowing and reaping.
Then Paul boldly declares what he believes: "…Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The word "soweth" is the word speiro, which refers to any seed that is sown. Notice the emphasis on any seed that is sown. This immediately alerts us to the fact that this law is not applicable only to finances, but to anything in life. It applies to love, to work, to time, to patience, to kindness, to forgiveness, to bitterness, to selfishness - and, of course, to money. All of these are potential "seeds" that we sow.
Making the definition of "soweth" even broader is the word "whatsoever," which in Greek is the word ean. This word literally throws open the door, for it means whatever; whatever thing; or no matter what a man sows. Again, Paul lets us know that this is a law of God that applies to every sphere of life with no exceptions. It is simply a fact: Whatever you sow, regardless of what it is, you will reap it.
The Greek tense does not denote a single, one-time sowing; rather, it pictures a person who continually, habitually sows. Therefore, it could be translated, "Whatsoever a man sows, sows, sows, and sows - and keeps on habitually sowing and sowing and sowing...." In other words, this describes a constant, steady, perpetual sowing of seed. And if you sow this seed steadily and faithfully, God's promise is that you will reap a harvest. The word for "reap" is in the same Greek tense, meaning that it could be translated, "You will reap, reap, reap, and reap - and keep on habitually reaping and reaping and reaping."
The reason most people walked away disgusted and scoffing at this promise is that they never really put it to the test! They sowed once and waited for a harvest. When nothing happened, they threw up their arms and said it didn't work. But those who keep on habitually sowing and sowing and sowing as a manner of lifestyle are the ones who eventually reap and reap and reap as the manifold blessings of God come pouring back into their lives.
The level at which you sow determines the level you will reap. Sow a little, and you'll reap a little. Sow a lot, and you'll reap a lot. Sow inconsistently, and you'll reap inconsistently. Sow regularly, and you will reap regularly.
Galatians 6:7 could be translated:
"Stop letting people lead you astray from the truth! You might try to turn up your nose at the law of God, but it won't change the law! It remains true that whatever you regularly and habitually sow - regardless of what it is - that is exactly what you will regularly and habitually reap."
Then in Galatians 6:9, Paul takes just a moment to encourage those of us who are waiting for our harvests. He says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Notice that Paul mentions a "due season." Even today, harvest times come at varying times for different areas, depending on the temperature, altitude, and climate of each region. For example, in one low-lying district of Israel, harvest may be in full swing while districts at higher altitudes are still weeks, or even a full month, away from their harvest time.
This principle holds true in every other realm as well. For instance, if the seed you are sowing is financial seed, remember to bathe it in prayer as it leaves your pocketbook and enters the Kingdom of God. Pray for the Holy Spirit to create a right atmosphere or climate for that seed to take root and grow. And if it takes awhile for the harvest to come back to you, remember that no farmer plants seed one day and expects to have a full wheat or corn field the next day! It takes time for seed to grow in the natural. In the same way, time may be required for the seed you have sown to spiritually mature so it can come back into your life as a multiplied blessing.
In the meantime, don't be weary in "well doing." That simply means keep it up; don't stop what you are doing; be regular; be consistent; be faithful; or be "well doing" in the sowing of your seed! The last thing you should do is "faint"!
That word "faint" comes from the Greek word ekluo, which means to loosen up; to relax; to faint; and to lose altogether. The devil will say, "This doesn't work. You've tried long enough. It won't hurt if you cut back on your giving. Loosen up a little. Relax from giving so much!"
But according to Galatians 6:9 and the Greek word ekluo, if you loosen up and relax in your giving, you will eventually "faint" - in other words, you'll stop giving completely. And if you do that, you will lose everything! So don't ever let the devil or anyone else ever talk you into backing out of sowing financial seeds into the Kingdom of God.
As I said earlier, the sowing of seeds applies to every area of life. If you constantly and habitually:
± Sow love, you will reap love.
± Sow patience, you will reap patience.
± Sow kindness, you will reap kindness.
± Sow forgiveness, you will reap forgiveness.
± Sow money, you will reap money.
± Sow bitterness, you will reap bitterness.
± Sow strife, you will reap strife.
Friend, like it or not, this is just the way it is! It is the law of God, and there is not one thing you can do to change it. So rather than challenge the system and fail, don't you think it's time that you wise up and get with the program? If you're going to reap what you sow, maybe you ought to figure out what you want to reap. Then you can start planting those same kinds of seeds to assure that you'll get the harvest of your dreams!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I want to be a faithful, consistent giver! I don't want to be on-again, off-again in the sowing of my financial seed. I know that this is a spiritual law that always works and will never change, so please help me renew my thinking to the truth of this law and come into a place of conformity with it. I want to habitually sow, and I want to habitually reap. Help me plant the right seeds into the right soil. Then I ask You to provide the right temperature, climate, and atmosphere to make my harvest grow!
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am NOT a one-time sower. I continually, habitually sow my seed into the Kingdom of God. God's Word promises that "whatsoever a man sows, sows, sows, and sows, and keeps on habitually sowing and sowing and sowing, that shall he also reap, reap, reap, and reap, and keep on habitually reaping and reaping and reaping." Because I am a habitual sower, I will be a habitual reaper! The level at which I sow determines the level at which I will reap. If I sow a little, I will reap a little. If I sow a lot, I will reap a lot. If I sow inconsistently, I will reap inconsistently. If I sow regularly, I will reap regularly. Knowing this to be true, I choose to make my giving one of the most important and consistent things I do in my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you been consistent with your giving, or have you been on-again, off-again in the way you give your tithes and offerings? If you are irregularly blessed, do you think the reason may be that you irregularly sow seed? At least it's something for you to think about!
- Do you faithfully give a full tithe to the work of the Lord? If yes, you can praise God for this victory in your life, for it will bless your future. If your answer is no, why are you being disobedient in this crucial area of your life?
- In what other areas of your life are you reaping a harvest from seeds you wish you had never sown?
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