WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 5, 2022
TOPIC: YOU WILL NOT SOW WHEAT BUT REAP THORNS
BY T. O. BANSO
“They have sown wheat but reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain but do not profit. But be ashamed of your harvest Because of the fierce anger of the LORD” (Jeremiah 12:13 New King James Version).
A child of God should not forget who he is and labour the way unbelievers do. Unbelievers may not have regard for God or recognize their need for Him in their lives but a child of God must not emulate them just because they boast of results without acknowledging God as number one in their lives.
Romans 12:2 says a Christian should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. A Christian must not forget that his kingdom is different from that of the unbelievers and the laws, beliefs, values, etc are not the same (Colossians 1:13).
What seems to work for them will not work for Christians. Indeed, what works for them will work against Christians. So Christians should stay in their lane and avoid the punishment that awaits unbelievers who appear to be prosperous without God.
A Christian’s mindset must be different from that of an unbeliever. In whatever a Christian does, he must put God first whether it is business, ministry, academics, sports, or any other thing. He must never relegate God to the background just because unbelievers do so and seem to be successful. The prosperity of the wicked is for a short time. “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2 New King James Version).
David continues in verses 9-11, “For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (New King James Version).
Unbelievers may be prosperous without giving the control of their lives to God or obeying His Word but their present state is not the end. Asaph said in Psalm 73:3 that he was envious of the boastful when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. He tried to understand why the wicked prosper but it was difficult until he went into the sanctuary of God and understood their end (verses 16-17).
Verses 18-19 say, “Surely You set them in slippery places; you cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors” (New King James Version). Job also talked about the prosperity of the wicked in Job 21:7-16
Be careful. Don’t be tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked. Be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5). Also, follow God’s instructions on divine prosperity. Focus on God. “Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found” (Psalm 37:34-36 New King James Version).
Don’t walk in the manners or statutes of the unbelievers. Don’t imitate their practices. In Leviticus 20:23-24, God told the Israelites not to walk in the statutes of the nation which He was casting out before them; for they engaged in sinful practices which made God abhor them. But the Israelites disobeyed God. Instead of worshipping God, they engaged in idolatry, worshipping Baal and other foreign gods. They suffered for it. Don’t be like the Israelites; don’t copy unbelievers.
God said in Hosea 2:8 that Israel did not realize that He gave her everything she had — the grain, the wine, the olive oil. Even the gold and silver she used in worshiping Baal were gifts from Him. Baal was believed to be the god of fertility so they believed it was responsible for their grain, wine, and olive oil! What a delusion!
God said concerning Israel, “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season, and will take back My wool and My linen, given to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her New Moons, her Sabbaths — all her appointed feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, of which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’ So I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, and went after her lovers; but Me she forgot,’ says the LORD” (Hosea 2:9-13 New King James Version).
Put God first in your life. Don’t be like the Israelites who disobeyed God not to have other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7; 6:14; 2 Kings 17:34-35; Jeremiah 25:6; 35:15). But when God turned against them even their god of fertility proved to be a failure. The Bible says about Israel, “They have sown wheat but reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain but do not profit. But be ashamed of your harvest Because of the fierce anger of the LORD” (Jeremiah 12:13 New King James Version).
The New Living Translation puts it thus: “My people have planted wheat but are harvesting thorns. They have worked hard, but it has done them no good. They will harvest a crop of shame, for the fierce anger of the LORD is upon them.” This New Year, your labour shall not be in vain. You will be fruitful in all your endeavours.
God is the source of the blessing of His children, not an idol. No child of God should make the god of the unbelievers his god so that he won’t sow wheat and reap thorns and be ashamed of his harvest because of God’s fierce anger. One of the things God said to Adam when He cursed the ground because of his disobedience was that the ground would bring forth for him thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18).
Nobody eats thorns and thistles! They are gathered and burnt. They were often used for fuel in the Bible (Psalm 58:9; Ecclesiastes 7:6; Isaiah 33:12) or served as hedges (Hosea 2:6). A crown of thorns was put on Jesus’ head just before His crucifixion (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2,5). When a farmer cultivates the ground, he doesn’t expect to reap thorns and thistles. If the ground brings forth these, it amounts to wasted effort; it is hope dashed.
You are no longer under the curse. Your ground – destiny, family, business, ministry, etc. shall not bring forth thorns and thistles. You will not sow wheat and reap thorns. But don’t forsake God and follow other gods or modern gods. Let God be number one in your life so that your labour will not be in vain.
God told the Israelites this will be one of the consequences of disobeying Him: “I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it” (Leviticus 26:16 New King James Version).
Also, He told them in Deuteronomy 28:38-42, “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land” (New King James Version).
These were severe punishments that the Israelites suffered later in the history of the nation. When they neglected to build the temple of the LORD, He told them, “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6 New King James Version).
Before they began to lay the foundation of the temple, when they hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, they harvested only ten. Also, when they expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, they found only twenty. God sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy all the produce of their labor but they refused to return to Him (Haggai 2:16-17). However, from the day the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid, He promised to bless them. The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). Serve God only. Put Him first (Matthew 6:33).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not sow wheat but reap thorns in Jesus’ name. My destiny, family, business, ministry, etc. shall not bring forth thorns and thistles. My hard work shall do me good. I shall not harvest a crop of shame, My labour shall be profitable. The blessing of God makes me rich and He does not add sorrow with it.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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