Tavares D. Mathews
Be Not Deceived:
Surely You Shall Reap What You Sow
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7)
There is no law more certain than the law of sowing and reaping. When Noah and his family came out of the ark, God declared, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). Therefore, Paul declares, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7-8). Also, one of the great truths of this law is that you will almost always reap more than you sow.
Thus, God has declared as long as the earth stands, whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap or as is often said, “What goes around comes around”. While our Lord is a God of mercy, consequences are always attached to our disobedience.
One instance of this fact is seen in the life of Jacob. In Genesis 27 we read that when Jacob’s father was old and blind that Jacob deceived his father of Esau’s blessing. Consequently, Jacob later reaped deceit when he was to marry Rachel. Laban tricked him into thinking that he was marrying Rachel when in fact it was Leah, her sister. He had worked 7 years for the wrong woman. He had to work another 7 years for Rachel, thus working a total of 14 long years. He was later deceived again when it came to his wages. Hear his complaint: “And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times.” (Genesis 31:6-7). As a con -sequence, for his deceit he had reaped that which he had sown, therefore showing that God is not to be mocked, you shall surely reap what you sow.
Another example of this law can be seen in the life of David. These accounts are tragic. We begin by noticing the exchange between Nathan and David as he is confronted about his illicit relationship with Bathsheba: “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit [However], because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die” (2 Sam. 12:13, 14). Notice that even though David acknowledged his transgressions, he still had to reap what he had sown. In his case, he sowed to the wind, but he was about to reap a whirlwind of heartache and misery. Notice the words of Nathan again as he admonishes David.
“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun” (2 Sam. 12:7-12)
Sadly, David had to live his life watching those seeds of sin produce anguish and grief. Note how the fruit of his sins ripen before his eyes from one heart wrenching moment to the next.
David’s son Amnon rapes David’s daughter, his own sister
“And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her” (2 Samuel 13:11-14).
David’s son Absalom murders his own brother, David’s son
“Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled” (2 Samuel 13:28).
David’s son Absalom commits adultery with his father’s wives
“Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do. And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel” (2 Samuel 16:20-22).
All of this originated from David sowing seeds of sin, at one moment in time, but he reaped the consequences for a lifetime. The choices that we make in this life will always have consequences. If we sow sin we will always reap the effects of sin. Sin is deceitful. The Hebrew’s writer observed that we should “exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 4:13). Sin does not tell you all the pain and embarrassment that it will cause you when it is done with you. And sin is never done with you when you are done with it. The end results are always devastating and life changing. We should also be aware that the choices we make today will not only affect us today but our posterity as well. Sadly, many innocent lives are affected by the choices of others. Children’s lives are turned upside down because of the sins of parents. Spouses are affected because of the sins of their mates. Churches are influenced by the sins of its leaders and members. We should not give occasion to the enemies of the Lord (the world) to blaspheme against the God of heaven. (2 Sam. 12:14).
Some closing thoughts: We not only reap because of sin, but the wonderful thing is that we reap for the good that we do as well. Hear Paul: “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6; Eccl. 12:14; Mt. 12:33; Mt. 13:23Luke 6:68; Gal. 5:22-23). God is also able to turn sorrow and tears into joy (Ps. 126:5).
The conclusion: Whenever we sin, consequences are always attached to our decisions. Far too many do not count the cost with the choices that they make and sadly, they have to live with the results of those decisions for the rest of their lives. We should be cautious and wise in the decisions that we make – sit back and evaluate the possible consequences of our actions. We do not have to make choices which God has already made for us – that is – if something is a sin – do not put yourself in situations that will lead you to sin. Exercise self-control, because surely, you shall reap what you sow and you will most definitely reap more than you have sown. Count the cost before you make a decision, the choice that you make – just may cost you everything – even your soul.