God’s Promise of a Harvest (God is Not Mocked)

Read Galatians 6:7-9 – 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Intro: In pursuit of our ongoing theme on the promises of God, we come to these powerful words of the apostle Paul. The specific promise we will consider is v. 9 – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. God promises that if we do not give up doing what is right, in the appropriate time, we will reap a harvest. God promises us a harvest. This harvest will be the fruit of the seed that we sow in our lives. God promises us, you will reap what you sow. This incontrovertible principle of life will be referenced many times in our lessons on God’s promise of a harvest. It is a powerful divine promise itself, and the apostles’ argument to every Christian on righteous living. But it is possible to be deluded into believing that this principle is not true.

I. Paul says “do not be deceived, God is not mocked”. How can Paul say that? Have you watched TV recently? God and His word is mocked quite often in popular media, politics, and even in religious teaching today. The Bible also reveals times when God was mocked by unbelieving people such as the Egyptian Pharaoh who snidely asked Moses, “who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Exodus 5:2). Jesus Himself was mocked while on the cross, by both the soldiers and the scribes. ? (Matthew 27:27-31; 41-43) Peter warns Christians that “in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.” (2 Peter 3:3).

A. What does it mean to mock God? The Greek word translated “mocked” is used only here, although a closely related word is used of the soldiers who mocked Jesus. It means to scorn, The word here (“mukterizo”) is a compound word containing the word for nose, and literally means to turn your nose up at, sneer, treat with contempt (Vines).

1. Here in Gal. 6:7 it is a verb in the present tense and middle voice. This means that literally Paul is saying thatGod will not be mocked” by those who hold Him and His will in disdain. Compare the actions of a criminal who thinks he has gotten away with breaking the law. Flees the police across the border of their jurisdiction, stops his car, gets out and taunts them. He’s not afraid of them. He believes that he has escaped their judgment.

2. Paul is telling us that, even though men may sneer at God and His words, the end result is they fail in their efforts, because God cannot be mocked. His jurisdiction and judgment are not limited in any way. His words are always true, and what he says always come to be. We cannot reject His law with immunity. This is certainly born out in God’s relationship with Israel. Jeremiah describes God’s judgment of the people of Jerusalem: 2 Chron 36:15-16 – And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

II. “for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”. This is a fundamental principle of God’s creation, physically and spiritually. It is vastly applicable to the Christian.

A. The context: being good, doing good. But first we need to see the overall context of the apostle’s words. Paul is discussing the call of the Christian to be good and do good.

1. At the end of chapter 5 he catalogues the fruit of the Spirit, and admonishes them to live in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit (5:25)

2. At the beginning of chapter 6 he commands them to humbly restore those who are overtaken in sin, and bear one another’s burdens.

3. Then in Gal. 6:6 he mentions their responsibility to use their physical resources to financially support those who teach spiritual truth. (“Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”) This call for them to see the enduring value and importance of the spiritual over the physical provides the context for Paul’s use of God’s principle of harvest. He implies that they are sowing, either to the flesh, or to the Spirit. The law of harvest says you will reap what you sow; corruption or everlasting life.

4. In view of this unalterable promise of harvest, he encourages them to not grow weary in doing good (v. 9) and to do good to all people, especially to those who of God’s family, who also value spiritual things (v. 10)

B. It is mockery of God to think that one can sow one thing and reap another. This is the apostle’s point. It is an attempt to mock that which cannot be mocked. Think of this from the physical law of harvest. Can one plant one type of seed, and simply assume or assert another type of harvest? Why? Because God has determined through unalterable law the boundaries of reaping and sowing.

III. “He who sows to his flesh… he who sows to the Spirit…” What does the Apostle mean by sowing and reaping? He is not speaking literally, but figuratively. But the meaning is seen in the actual practice of sowing seed in the days of the apostle. The sowing in view was broadcasting seed by hand (still used today). He puts his hand into the bag and scatters seed all around him, as he moves along. So the text is picturing a person scattering something all around him as he moves along.

A. What does he have in his bag? What is he sowing? (At other times the picture of seed being sown is a reference to teaching the word of God. – Luke 8) MacGarvey says that in this context the seed is a person’s physical resources (money) in supporting those who are teaching them. Paul uses the same imagery in 2 Cor. 9, where he tells the Corinthians that if they give generously God will supply “seed for the sower” and “increase the fruits of their righteousness”(2 Cor. 9:10). As you spend your money do you think of it as sowing seeds all around you that will one day produce a harvest? What do you spend your money on? What type of harvest do you anticipate? What is actually contrasted here is not seed, or soil, specifically, but the activity of sowing – one to the flesh – one to the Spirit.

1. But the application goes further. John McGarvey says this… But money is not all that we sow. Every word that drops out of our mouths falls round about us, makes an impression, and is left behind us; and every deed, every act of our lives–indeed our life is made up of moments that have been compared to grains of gold that we are scattering along our pathway from the cradle to the grave. I presume, then, this sowing which the Apostle speaks of includes all that we do that has any moral character in it–our whole course of life. We are sowing, sowing, constantly sowing, and will be until we lie down in the grave.

B. “Sowing to His Flesh” What is meant by sowing to the flesh? Although there are times when “flesh” is used to mean simply physical, I am convinced that here it points to the baser part of our physical nature – our passions, desires and appetites that are generated by the physical. To sow to the flesh is to devote our time, energy, words, money, or other resources to the gratification of these sensual desires. Sowing to the flesh means to carry out the deeds of the flesh. Paul lists them as “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorceries, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these… those who practice such things shall not enter the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21).

1. Elsewhere this idea of sowing to the flesh is expressed as

• “walking according to the flesh (Rom. 8:4)

• “minding the things of the flesh” (Rom 8:5) and to be “carnally minded”.

• And “fulfill the desires of the flesh” (Rom 6:13) – living the natural life.

a. John R. W. Stott has written, “Every time we allow our mind to harbor a grudge, nurse a grievance, entertain an impure fancy, wallow in self-pity, we are sowing to the flesh. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist, every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, every time we read pornographic literature, every time we take a risk that strains our self-control we are sowing, sowing, sowing, to the flesh” (The Message of Galatians [London: Inter-Varsity, 1968], p. 170).

C. Reaping Corruption: There is the promise of a certain type of harvest for this sowing. It can only end in a harvest of corruption. To think or act otherwise is to mock God.

1. The word corruption is a strong word. We can all relate to the corruption of a physical body. It is disgusting and offensive. Consider the sight of road kill – as you drive by it day after hot day. The original word is also defined as ruin or destruction. Despite the Calvinistic interpretation, Paul is referencing the corruption or destruction of the soul. The physical body of the good man AND the bad man corrupts after death. But Paul is describing more. Those who sow to the flesh will lose their soul. Rom. 8:12-14Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

2. We are deceived into thinking that there will be another outcome. We are willing to trust our chances that some way we will get by.

D. Sowing to the Spirit: What is sowing to the Spirit? It is not just teaching the word (sowing seed of the word). In fact, in Galatians 6 Paul is urging them to sow to the Spirit in the use of their money. It describes the use of our resources for the benefit of the Spirit’s work. Notice again how it is variously described by Paul. It is the same as…

walking by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16),

to be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18),

and to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18). It is the same as abiding in Christ and in His Word and having His words abide in us (John 8:31; 15:7). It is the same as walking in Christ (Col 2:6) and setting one’s “mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2).

1. Sowing to the Spirit means to live by the Spirit and thus produce “the fruit of the Spirit.” This includes “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23)

E. Reaping Eternal Life… The harvest we can anticipate is eternal life. Certainly this refers to what awaits us in heaven. In contrast to the harvest of corruption, Peter describes this harvest as… an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:4-5). Eternal life also refers to the quality off the life that God gives. A life of fellowship we enjoy even now. John says… “He who has the Son, has the life”

1. There is nothing or no one that can stop it. All the demons in hell cannot prevent your harvest of righteousness sown in trust of God. Rom 8:31-39 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? {32}He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? {33}Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. {34}Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. {35}Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36}As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” {37}Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. {38}For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, {39}nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Conclusion: Are you sowing? Yes, no doubt. But to what harvest? That is the real question. Are you mocking God by thinking that you will escape the harvest of your sowing? “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked- whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap.”