Thursday: Sowing and Reaping

(Gal. 6:6-10)

In Galatians 6:7, the word translated “mocked” (mukterizo) occurs only here in the New Testament, though it often appears in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. It literally means “to turn up one’s nose in contempt.”

Sowing and Reaping

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In the Old Testament it typically refers to the despising of God’s prophets (2 Chron. 36:16Jer. 20:7), and it even is used once to describe graphically a rebellious attitude toward God (Ezek. 8:17).

Paul’s point is that people may ignore God or even flout His commandments, but they cannot outwit God. He is the ultimate judge, and in the end they will have to pay the price for their actions.

Read Galatians 6:8. What does Paul mean here? What examples can you find in the Bible of characters sowing to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit? (See, for example, Acts 5:1-5, Luke 22:3, Dan. 1:8Matt. 4:1.)

Paul’s metaphor about sowing and reaping is not unique. It is a fact of life that appears in many ancient proverbial sayings. What is significant, however, is how Paul uses it to highlight his previous comments about the flesh and the Spirit. James D. G. Dunn notes, “A modern equivalent is that we are free to choose, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our choice.” — Galatians, p. 330.

Although God does not always deliver us from the earthly consequences of our sins, we should not be overcome with despair for the bad choices we have made. We can rejoice that God has forgiven us of our sins and adopted us as His children. We should capitalize on the opportunities we have now to invest in those things that will yield a heavenly harvest.

Galatians 6:10, meanwhile, illustrates the point that “Christian ethics has a dual focus: one is universal and all-embracing, ‘Let us do good to all people’; the other is particular and specific, ‘especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’ Paul’s universalistic appeal was based on the fact that all persons everywhere are created in the image of God and are thus infinitely precious in [H]is sight. Whenever Christians have forgotten this primary datum of biblical revelation, they have inevitably fallen victim to the blinding sins of racism, sexism, tribalism, classism, and a thousand other bigotries that have blighted the human community from Adam and Eve to the present day.” — Timothy George, Galatians, pp. 427, 428.

You are sowing, either for good or bad. Look at yourself. What kind of harvest are you going to reap?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons