4 Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
Proverbs 20:4 (NLT)
The above verse tells us that if we are too lazy to plow in the right season, we will not get any harvest. It was written based on the context of farming. Farmers have specific time for every process of their work. They must plow, sow and reap at specific time to get their harvest due to the periodical change in the whether patterns. Should they missed any of those steps, they will not get their harvest and their families will starve. If this is the time to plow, plow now. Do not wait for next week. The season will not wait.
This is a great lesson for us who want to be rich. Why do you think God put this verse in the Bible? Obviously he wants us to have food at the harvest. God wants us to be rich. He does not want us to settle for having just enough to eat. He wants us to have more than enough. He wants us to be exceedingly and abundantly rich.
When I was in my medical leave last week, I watched a DVD entitled “Guns, Germs And Steel”. It was about the quest of a biologist Jared Diamond in investigating the reason why some nations are more advanced than others. He concluded that the discovery of agriculture marks the beginning of human advancement. Farming gives people a stable source of food supply. However, farming alone does not guarantee advancement of civilization. Farm productivity must be high.
When the productivity is low, there can only be one occupation in the village. Everyone in the village must become farmer to produce enough food for their own families to survive. No one can afford to be scientist, engineers or artist because they are busy farming. Thus, they will not be able to discover metallurgy, invent new machines, develop mathematics, literature, science and other necessities for civilizations to advance. The society with low farm productivity will remain stagnant forever.
In contrast, when the farm productivity is high then the society does not need everyone in it to be farmers. There will be a surplus of food to feed even those who do not engage directly in farming. This enables people to engage in other specialization like discovering metallurgy, inventing new machines, developing mathematics, literature, science and other hallmarks for civilizations to progress.
This is truly a revelation to me. Nations like Egypt, Europe and China were able develop great civilizations when the rest of the world were in primitive state because these nations had surplus in their farms to feed engineers, scientists, artists, craftsmen and every other specialists they needed.
This is an illustration on why we need a surplus in our harvest. We need to have more than enough in order to progress to the next level. A Christian life is a life of continuous advancement. In order to advance we need surplus in our prosperity. We must never settle just enough. That is stagnation. Nations that are only producing just enough will remain in primitive state while those that had surplus in their harvest will advance in their level of civilization. We Christians are to be like those nations that have huge surplus in their harvest.
Now that we have resolve the need for huge harvest let us move to the concept of plowing at the right season. Plowing means working. When a farmer is plowing, his farm must look empty. Plowing time is the time where we cannot see the harvest. It can be a very dull job, having working so hard but you cannot see the money. So, it should not surprise us when people can get lazy and refuse to plow. It is much easier to reap than to plow because we can see the harvest when we reap.
So, why not skip the plowing and wait for the reaping? The problem is, if you don’t plow you will not reap. Plowing is a necessary step for us to reap our prosperity. What is plowing in today’s context? It refers to works that needs to be done but we cannot see the direct benefits when we do them.
It is easy to work in a job when we see money coming in every day. Jobs like this does not require much faith or motivation. I call these easy jobs. If you happen to be in one of them, I congratulate you. It is the jobs that do not give us the direct benefits that we want that is challenge. Let me give you an example.
You could be victim of the recent economic crisis. You were laid off. Before this, you had a high paying job in a huge company. Your life was very comfortable. The recent events caused your life to turn upside down. You lost you job and you fail to find similar high paying job in the market. In order to survive, you have taken up the job of washing dishes in a restaurant. How will you face this situation? How motivated are you? You are still paid but the amount is extremely small compared to the salary you used to receive.
In situations like this, most people get demoralized and give up hope. If you choose to follow them, I can tell you for sure that you will remain where you are for a very long time. You need to know the truth and the truth is you are now in a plowing season. This is the season where you have to work very hard and you cannot see the benefits that you want. As you do your current job well, you will move on to the next season very soon. You will get to the time where you will reap a huge harvest. How big is your harvest going to be? It depends on how well you perform you current plowing job. The better you plow the greater your harvest. God has promised to deliver you and give you prosperity. What you are experiencing now is the plowing season.
So, God has decreed that your future is in your hands. What we do and think about will determine the type of future we have. If we choose to plow well now, we will have a great harvest. We will be rich and advance to the next level. However, if we are to get too lazy to plow now, we will not have any harvest when the time comes.
What is your choice? Will you choose to plow now?