15 July 2013 by Stewart Chew –
There was once a farmer who went out to plant wheat. It was quite a windy day. As he sowed, some of the grains accidentally fell away onto the road beside the fields. The crows up on the trees saw these seeds and quickly swooped down and gobbled them up. Some of the grains were blown onto the roadside where they lay hidden from the view of the birds. When the rain came these seeds soaked and quickly germinated. As quickly as they sprouted, their tender shoots withered in the scorching sun because these young plants lack any permanent roots. Still, the winds blew a few grains into the bamboo hedges growing by the roadside. These seeds were trapped between the thick leaves and failed to reach the soil below. Like the grains on the roadside, they too swelled with the rain and sprouted quickly but also withered as well because there was no sustaining soil. Finally, some grains fell on the good earth of the ploughed fields. They gave rise to strong roots and leaves and soon became healthy plants. The fields were soon lush with green plants, which rapidly grew and ultimately yielded yellow crests of golden wheat. Note that even before setting out, the Farmer had every intention that none of His grain would be wasted. It was always in His plan and purpose that every single grain that He dispensed is important to Him as they are collectively expected to yield sheaths of wheat and reward Him with a full crop of grain in return.
There exists a duality in the interpretation of the parable of the sower. Firstly, there is the Biblical interpretation. The seed of the divine Sower is interpreted to be His word. When a man learns about God and is not serious about the great Creator in his life, God’s word that he hears does not impact or has any lasting effect on what he does. The Bible is just another book to him. He has allowed Satan to create disbelief in him and thus prevent the Word of God from taking root in his heart. This is analogous to the seeds that fell by the roadside that are quickly gobbled up by the birds. The seeds that fell on the roadside represent the man who just happened to hear the Word of God. He is not ready or prepared and being unaware of the responsibilities when he eagerly accepted it. Just like the seeds failing to take root because of the lack of soil, this man quickly surrenders his faith in God and his belief in God’s promises in the Bible the moment crisis strike his life. The seed, which fell into the thick bamboo hedge, represent the rich man of the world who allows his wealth and luxuries to rule over his life and thus he loses his dependence of God in his life. Finally, the seed that fell in the furrows is the man who is serious about God’s love. He constantly seeks God and listens and meditates on God’s word daily. Although his life is not free of stress and hardships he remains focussed and strong in the providence of a loving God. The riches and glory of this world do not influence what he does because he knows that whatever he has comes from God.
Secondly, there is another interpretation that considers the divine Sower’s seeds to be His creations instead of His word. The various destinations where the seeds will ultimately fall represent our worldly environments where God has put all of us i.e. places we are born, where we are brought up and where we spend all our lives. We may belong to the first category of people who consider themselves ‘free thinkers’ i.e. people who are not committed believers and generally contend that every religion of this world teach us all to be good. These people do not go to church but they will relent to invitations by family members, friends or colleagues to come along on special occasions. These occasions are attended because they primarily serve as social events or business opportunities. How can they then seriously take into account the words of the preacher though it may all be about the truth? When our intentions are erred in the first place, there is little chance for the word of God to impress permanently in our hearts, thus the birds will peck us clean!
We can also belong to yet another two categories of people who regard what people think of the way they live to be more important than what they feel themselves. To live their lives the way people want them to do instead of seeking God has resulted in unhappiness and dissatisfaction. They all lack the essential soil and moisture required to nurture the Creator’s specific plans for their lives. The final category of people is well prepared and has all the fertile soil and moisture for God’s word to live and grow throughout their lives. Like the proliferation of the sheaths of wheat, they all fit into the Creator’s plan and purpose for their lives here and in eternity.
Question: Who knows us perhaps better than ourselves?
Answer: Obviously it is somebody who has known everything about our being. He is God. He has created us and loved every single person that He has created.
Our heavenly father has created all of us to naturally seek him and to love in return. This is intrinsic in each one of us. The more we seek Him, the more we will realise that He has always loved us and cared for all of us long before we are born (Ps 139: 13,14). We are all distracted by an unbelieving and self-caring world in which we live in. Nevertheless, He lovingly allows His generous bag of wheat to continuously fall on us. The Bible tells us that He has forgiven us and sacrificed His Son to die on the cross for us. When we asked Jesus to come into our hearts our spiritual being becomes alive. To be connected with God’s presence in our daily lives and simultaneously be nurtured by His daily word is as essential to our spiritual being as much as the bright sunshine, fresh air and clean water are to our physical being. Reading and meditating on the Bible or using ‘Daily Bread’ on a daily basis provides God with a special quiet time with us. On every occasion, our Heavenly Father feeds and sustains our spiritual being with His word. Thus, as much as we must breathe fresh air and drink clean water, I absolutely believe there is yet another essential element that we must have in our lives – the nurture of God’s living word from the Bible.
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