Salvation Sound - October 2007
Harvest time.... Genesis 8:22.
'As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest'.
Harvest, the season for the gathering of grain and fruits. In Canaan, it all began on the 16th day of Abib,(or April, seasons being different in the East). A handful of ripe ears of corn was offered as a first fruit before the Lord, and immediately after this the harvest commenced. It began with the feast of the Passover and ended with Pentecost, thus lasting for seven weeks.
The Egyptians excelled in agriculture, and after the Israelites entered the promised land, they too became quite remarkable in the development of this type of work. Wheat, figs, pomegranates, grapes and olives all produced abundantly. However, the whole land was 'rested' every seventh year, when all agricultural labour would entirely cease.
It was the custom in those days for a passer by to be at liberty to eat any amount of corn, grapes etc. but he was not permitted to carry any away with him. The poor were able to claim the corners of the fields and the gleanings. A forgotten sheaf in a field was also to be left for the poor.
"Toiling through the seasons
In the sunshine and the rain,
Zealous sowing with compassion
Yields a wealth of golden grain."
Canaan was the land of plenty. There God said His people would,"Eat food without shortage and lack nothing"....Deut. 8:9.
We are such a fortunate people here in this land, for this also is a land of plenty, and very few of us ever go hungry to bed, or thirst because the well has run dry.
Many people nowadays forget the meaning of harvest, the nearest they come to it is in the purchasing of an organic loaf! Harvest Festival is not just a quaint custom of the church, it is a time to recognise what sustains the body and the symbols of what feeds the spirit.
The origin of the word harvest is obscure, we come closest to it when we say we 'crop what was rooted'. Poets call this root-cropping sequence an everlasting circle. Moses called it 'the pilgrim feast of ingathering'.
Think on this then, Harvest Festival has to be a double celebration, of field crops and of ourselves; praising God for His bounty; God's love creates all things, He works within us, just as He does in the nature of the countryside.....
Source: Focus, October 2007
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