One-a-Day...for the Heart: The Grim Reaper
The personification of death is depicted in mythology by a ghoulish figure named the Grim Reaper. He is pictured with a scythe, which is normally used to harvest crops; however, the Grim Reaper was said to harvest people's souls instead. Creepy, and of course, untrue. Jesus said, in Matthew 10:28 (NLT), “Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
We are wise to never engage in, on any level, the supernatural realm of ghouls, ghosts, evil spirits, séances, fortune-telling, or any other form of witchcraft and the occult. In doing so, we open ourselves up to the demonic realm, and the Lord cautions us strongly to have nothing to do with it. Our spiritual guidance and pursuit of spirituality should come from God alone. Seeking it from any other source is dangerous and seriously distances us from the Lord. He said in Leviticus 20:6-7 (NLT), "I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community.” So put thoughts of the Grim Reaper and any other ghostly reaper out of your mind, for that is not the reaper to be discussed today!
Each of us is a reaper, believe it or not. Certain laws of God are undeniable, and we are fools to ignore them. God’s law of sowing and reaping is an example. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up (Galatians 6:7-10 ESV).
Our behavior—both in word and deed—yields either a grim harvest or a good harvest. Some things we say or do cause us to reap a grim harvest of heartache, sickness, torment, or even death. Eliphaz, a not-so-great friend of Job’s, made this statement as he counseled Job on why his life was falling apart: “It's my observation that those who plow evil and sow trouble reap evil and trouble. One breath from God and they fall apart, one blast of his anger and there's nothing left of them,” (Job 4:8-9 MSG). Yikes, that was harsh.
Those who sow injustice will reap calamity (disaster). Proverbs 22:8 seems to echo Eliphaz’s words. Injustice is acting unjustly or unfairly. We sow injustice when we are dishonest and faithless toward others. The Lord sees that behavior, even if it’s held within our hearts and not spoken, then inevitably painful and troubled relationships result. It’s a law of sowing and reaping. We cannot sow dishonesty and deceit with others and reap a happy, peaceful life. If you watch the path of a liar, it soon becomes apparent that he has few, if any, friends, except perhaps other liars. Turmoil, trouble, and torment mark the end of a liar's life. He will indeed reap a grim harvest, and if he is someone near to you, it is very sobering to watch God’s law of sowing and reaping unfold.
If we sow righteousness (right living), we will reap love, according to Hosea 10:12. In 2 Corinthians 9:6, we’re told, Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. That’s God’s law whether we’re sowing words, acts of kindness, money and resources, or hurtful things. We will reap something. Sometimes the unpleasant circumstances and suffering in our lives are related to things we’ve done wrong, but we don't recognize it as such. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap, (Galatians 6:7).
How goes the harvest in your life? Are you a grim reaper or a good reaper? The more we sow good seed—truth, love, kindness, goodness, joy, peace, generosity—the more plentiful and good the harvest. The Passion Translation gives a great summation: The harvest you reap reveals the seed you planted. If you plant the corrupt seeds of self-life into this natural realm, you can expect a harvest of corruption. If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life, you will reap beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit (Galatians 6:8).
© 2022, Chris Werre