Harvest Time

Proverbs 10:5 “He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.”

As we enter the month of June and head full steam into summer, this is verse is a great reminder for us. In the land which this passage was written, the time to gather was in the summer. This was the harvest time. Our passage shows two choices. A son who was busy during the summer gathering or the son who slept through the harvest.

There are certain things in life that one must act upon. We can’t wait until we are ready, they will pass us by. The sleeping son who missed the harvest, will later be ready to go out and gather, but there won’t be anything to harvest. It will have been too late. Then, as winter hits, he will suffer. He will not have enough and then have to beg from others. It didn’t have to be this way. His laziness and his failure to have vision and diligence led to this. There was no one to blame but himself. Why was he sleeping? Was he staying up too late? Did he not realize that it was harvest season? Did he not care?

There are “summer harvest seasons” upon us as well. Like the sons in the passage, we can’t wait until we feel like doing things. If we do, we will miss these opportunities.

Parenting is one such season. Your children grow fast and they move from one stage in life to the next very quickly. The early years is when so many important foundational lessons about respect, rules, authority, kindness and sharing are established. The “sleeping” parent misses that. Wait until your child is a teenager to start “parenting,” and you have acted shamefully. It will be too late. Your child will become a person of the world-selfish, spoiled and worldly. The time to let the child know that there are words that are not allowed, there is behavior that is not allowed is in the “harvest season.” It is during this time that the child needs to be introduced to God. He needs to learn about God at home and at Bible classes. Parents who are too tired to get to the church house will miss the harvest.

Saving money is another harvest season. While you are working, you need to be saving. Spending everything that comes in seems to work only while you are working. What happens when you are no longer working? If you haven’t “gathered” during the harvest, you’ll be in trouble. Some proudly boast, “I plan to work until they carry me out.” Maybe. Maybe they won’t want you. Maybe your health won’t allow that. Then what? Old and broke is not a pretty picture. The wise son will be setting some aside while he is working because he knows someday the harvest will be over and he will have to live on what he has gathered.

Helping others is another harvest season. The Galatians were told, “While we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” While we have opportunity is the same thing as the harvest in our verse today. We can’t wait until we are ready, because by then the opportunity may have passed by. So, it’s a Saturday and someone needs you to help them move. But you first want to sleep in. By the time you show up, they are finished. You missed your opportunity. You plan to stop by and see someone who is in the hospital. Today doesn’t work out. You’ll do it tomorrow. But you need to run some errands tomorrow. The next day. You go, and they have been released. You missed the harvest. Helping others often doesn’t fit in with our schedules. You just have to make adjustments and make it work. You have to put some things that you wanted to do on the back burner. You have to get up and miss some sleep.

Saving our souls is the most important harvest in all of this. Having a nice nest egg is great, but it’s of little value when we are standing before God. Being a great parent is important but if we lose our souls, what good was that? We have a “harvest” period-it’s while we have opportunity and life. We need to first see that we are right before the Lord. Are there things that you have been putting off? Are there things that you need to apologize about? Are there things that you have not dealt with? Harvest is only a season. Miss it and you have missed it. Save yourselves is what the apostles begged the audience in Acts. How many sermons have we listened to and not done anything about? How many times have we seen a passage and realized that we could do better but there we “sleep” through the harvest. Someday that harvest will be over. Have we acted shamefully toward our own souls?

From that we need to be diligent to try to teach our family and friends the Gospel of Jesus. We laugh at their jokes. We listen to them rant about things. We see how passionate they are about eating right, exercising, politics, music, but what do they see in us? Are we passionate about our faith? Do we want the harvest to pass and miss the opportunity to tell them about the Lord? Do we want them to turn to us at the judgment and say, “why did you sleep through the harvest?”

Summer is here. It’s harvest time. Let’s get busy