Putting Hand to Plow

It has always been curious how standard, every-day, common events sometimes take over and remove other activities of more importance. For instance, how is it that work can take the place of service to God?

Growing up in a rural setting and being familiar with the farm/ranch lifestyle, I understand that there is no clock to punch. A farmer/rancher just does the job that is necessary, often at the mercy of variables that include seasons, livestock and weather conditions. No farmer/rancher would argue that time is irrelevant. So, successful farmers/ranchers do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

God understands this for “He changes the times and the seasons” (Daniel 2:21; cf. Ecclesiastes 3:2; Proverbs 20:4). In fact, knowing this, there is an interesting comment in Exodus 34:21 – “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.” This is not the only place where the Sabbath is discussed but it is noted here that in “plowing time and in harvest,” there is no excuse for slighting our obligation to worship God at His appointed times. Oh, sure, there is the occasional “ox-in-the-ditch” issue (cf. Luke 14:5) but if the ox keeps falling into the ditch Sunday after Sunday, it’s time to fill up the ditch or kill the ox.

Remember that God is first… always; and we will reap what we sow (Hosea 8:7; Galatians 6:7). What is really important? “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and reigns righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12), for “no one putting his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of Heaven” (Luke 9:62).

Jeff Sweeten