Kindness Returned with Kindness (Galatians 6:7)
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Lewis and Clark's famous expedition to the Pacific Northwest in 1804 almost came to an untimely and deadly end. Half starved and almost frozen, the men staggered out of Idaho's snowy Bitterroot Mountains and into the camp of the Nez Perce Indians. Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns tell the story in Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery: Lewis and Clark were the first white men ever to reach their homeland. In the absence of more prominent leaders, who were out on a war party, a chief named Twisted Hair had to decide what to do with the weak but wealthy strangers suddenly in their midst. According to the tribe's oral tradition, some of the Nez Perce proposed killing the white men and confiscating their boxes of manufactured goods and weapons. The expedition's rifles and ammunition, in particular, would have instantly made the Nez Perce the region's richest and most powerful tribe. But... an Indian woman came to the Corps of Discovery's aid. As a young girl, she had been captured by an enemy tribe on the plains, who in turn sold her to another tribe farther to the east. Eventually she had been befriended and treated kindly by white people in Canada before escaping and making her way back to her own people. They called her Watkuweis—"Returned from a Faraway Country"—and for years she had told them stories about the fair-skinned people who lived toward the rising sun. She was aged and dying by the time the explorers arrived. When she learned about possible plans to destroy the expedition, tribal tradition says, she intervened. "These are the people who helped me,"she said. "Do them no hurt." A stranger's simple act of kindness—years before—saved the lives of an entire expedition. A little kindness can have amazing and unexpected results.
In this section Paul introduces the spiritual way of sowing and reaping. This passage is often applied to the lost to warn them about their wickedness and their day judgment. While that application can be made, we must realize that the passage was written to God's people. God's people do not escape the consequences of their sin. A day of reckoning is coming and the Christian who thinks that he can play with sin and sow to the flesh will answer to God. Paul's admonitions are serious.
There is a twofold instruction here.
1) The instruction about sowing. "Whatsoever a man soweth." Many are not sowing and still look to reap a harvest. If the farmer wants to reap, he must sow. If you want to reap a good report card, you must sow a lot of study. If you want to be a great pianist, you must sow a lot of practice time. If you want to achieve wins in sports, you must sow practice and preparation for the game. If you want to reap privileges, you must sow responsibilities. If you want to reap a good salary, you must get off your duff and sow some hard labor. Our text is not only about evil sowing but also about good sowing.
2) The instruction about reaping. You reap what you sow. We try to beat that principle but fail every time. If you sow an immoral life, you will reap the harvest of immoral living. You reap what you sow. That is God's principle!
Sowing and Reaping in the Bible.
The law of sowing and reaping is seen all throughout the Bible. Here are a number of examples of people who reaped what they sowed and the situations that surrounded the reaping.
2. Deadly stones: Saul stood by at the stoning of Stephen. He reaped stoning when he was stoned by the Jews at Lystra (Acts 14:19).
3. Dangling: Haman constructed gallows for Mordecai and reaped his intentions by hanging on those same gallows himself (Esther 7:10).
4. Disease: The prophet was put in the stocks by King Asa. Asa reaped his actions by being punished by God with disease of the feet (II Chronicles 16:10; I Kings 15:23).
5. Dogs: The dogs licked Naboth's blood after King Ahab had him slain (I Kings 21:19). When Ahab died, the dogs licked his blood (I Kings 22:38).
6. Disjoining: Adoni-bezek cut the thumbs and toes off of conquered kings. He reaped this same treatment in his life (Judges 1:6-7).
7. Division: Korah created division in the nation of Israel and reaped division when God divided the earth to swallow him up (Numbers 16).
8. Drowning: A Pharaoh commanded that the Hebrew baby boys be drowned. A Pharaoh was drowned by the Lord in the Red Sea (Exodus 1:22; 14:28).
The sowing of seeds applies to every area of life. If you constantly and habitually:
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.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.