Sunday May 16 2021

FAMINE FAITH

Gen. 26:1a – “And there was a famine in the land . . . “

INTRODUCTION:

There is a fundamental principle at work in Scripture which governs all life.

I’ve spoken many times concerning the God-ordained operation of ‘sowing and reaping.’

This fundamental law undergirds our entire universe.

It operates in every aspect of life – it is on every page of the Bible.

It applies to believers and unbelievers alike. To Jew and Gentile.

In order to obtain a harvest one must plant a seed.

And the seed one plants causes a specific harvest.

This may sound obvious to you but, this principle applies to every aspect of our lives be it farming, investment, learning, relationship – I could go on.

This principle is often referred to in the secular world as ‘cause and effect.’

But the principle of ‘cause and effect’ was gleaned from Biblical law.

Paul’s ‘law of sin and death,’ is simply one aspect of the law of ‘sowing and reaping.’

Mankind sowed sin – disobedience to God’s word – and the resulting harvest was death.

We cannot escape this for God says in Gal. 6:7

“be not deceived; God will not be mocked:  Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.”

Today, I wish to focus on one aspect of this principle.

Sowing in a time of famine – or famine faith.

FAMINE:  Gen. 26:1 “and there was a famine in the land,”

Then in verse 12 – “then Isaac sowed in that land,”

Where there was a famine, Isaac sowed in THAT land.

He didn’t sow in a well-watered land but he sowed in THAT land – right where the famine was.

It took faith to do such a thing – it took famine-faith.

God has demonstrated over and over again to us that if you plant seed it will produce a harvest.

Especially, if we plant seed in a time of famine.

Scripture continually identifies “seed” with the ‘word of God.”

“A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed,

Some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down,

And the fowls of the air ate it.

Some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up,

It withered away, because it lacked moisture.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up,

And bore fruit an hundred fold . . .

Now the parable is this, the seed is the word of God.”

(Luke 8: 4-11 KJV)

Jesus equated the two – seed and the word – in this and many others of His parables.

This Luke passage continues and explains that the seed is the word of God being sowed or scattered over the four various types of famine-soil.

Do you understand what is being said?

The four types of soils Jesus mentioned in His teachings represent famine-starved soils.

Starving for the word of God – starving for the seed of the word.

Soil is worthless unless something is growing in it.

Soil needs added life to make it valuable.

God formed us from the dust of the earth and breathed into this dust and we became living souls.

Once life becomes rooted in a soil then the soil takes on purpose and meaning.

It’s the seed that brings hope to the soil. And it is the breath of God that brings life to this hope.

It’s the seed that brings life to the soil.

There was famine in the land, in the soil, until Isaac sowed into the land.

“I will make thy seed multiply as the stars of heaven . . .”

This promise made to Abraham and confirmed here to Isaac was demonstrated through the sowing of Isaac in the land of famine.

Abraham’s ‘soil’ – his and Sarah’s reproduction abilities were in a state of famine, and God ‘sowed life’ into each, and Isaac’s sowing in the land of famine represented a picture of this promise.

“There was famine in the land . . .and Isaac sowed in the land.”

Famine-faith.

Soil, left to itself, will harden and become totally barren or perhaps worst, in a spiritual sense, it will sprout weeds – false doctrines, false religions, idiotic theologies.

Without the seed, the word of God, the famine soil will harden and become useless and susceptible to all kinds of weeds.

The only cure for famine is to plant.

We are experiencing a time in our land where there is famine ravishing those about us.

As Amos 8:11 reminds us –

“Behold the days come says the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:”

Now this passage is speaking specifically about Israel and their refusal to follow God and so He has determined to scatter them over the face of the earth.

However, truth is truth, and this applies to us in that there come times when there is a famine of hearing the word of God in a land.

And therefore we need to be as our father Isaac, that when we see a famine in our land it becomes time to sow or plant the seed.

SOWER AND EATER:

Isa. 55:10 states –

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not return until it waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it will not return unto me without fruit, but it will accomplish that which I please, and it will prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Here God is saying that the words that come forth out of His mouth are like the rains and snows in that His word will not return back to heaven without first bringing forth fruit that He intended.

Just as the rain doesn’t return to the heavens until it has accomplished its task in causing the earth to bud and bear fruit.

His word is seed that causes hearts to bring forth.

And His word is like seed to us to give us two things – bread for the eater, and seed for the sower.

We can listen to this message and return home and say, “that was a good message.”  And we can ‘break the bread’ of this message and it will feed us.

It has become “bread for the eater.”

But, it can also cause us to take the words of this message and use it as ‘seed for sowing’ in a place of famine.

Both activities are good and acceptable but let’s be sure we do not eat all our seed by turning it all into bread only for eating.

Let us save some seed for sowing.

Jesus said in Luke 4:4 and Mathew 4:4 (KJV)

“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Did you catch it?  Seed to make bread and seed of the Word of God.

When we recite the Lord’s prayer do we not say, “give us this day our daily bread?”

We are asking for bread to eat and bread (seed) for sowing to others.

DID YOU KNOW THAT FATHER GOD SOWED?

God promised a Seed through Eve in Genesis 3:15 KJV:

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,

And between thy seed and her seed;

It shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heal.”

God promised this Seed would be born of a virgin in Isaiah 7:14 and confirmed in Luke 1:31 KJV

“Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign:

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,

And shall call his name Immanuel.”

“And behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son,

And shall call his name Jesus.”

Then in Galatians 3:16 NKJV we have the following.

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.

He does not say, ‘And to his seeds.’ as of many, but as of one,

‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.”

This identifies the Seed as Christ. And this seed was sent at the perfect moment. Hear Galations 4:4 KJV.

“But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son,

Made of a woman, made under the law.”

This Seed from the Father was about to be planted in a famine-field!

“And Jesus answered them, saying,

‘The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.’

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone:

But if it die, it brings forth much fruit.”

(John 12:23-24 KJV)

This Seed of the Father, this grain of wheat, is about to be sown into the ground of our famine-field.

Christ, the Seed of the Father, crucified dead and buried into our famine field.

But! Psalm 16:10 heralds a startling truth. (NLT)

“For you will not leave my soul among the dead

Or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.”

He is risen! And He brings forth a bountiful harvest!

Let me include here a song I wrote in 1996 concerning this topic.

LORD OF THE HARVEST

Lord of the Harvest, Thou Bread of Life, Broken and bruised, to nourish me with light;

Oh that Grain of Wheat, from the Father’s hand,

Emptied of self, in the likeness of man.

Lord of the harvest, Thou Bread of Life, Broken and bruised, to nourish me with light;

Oh that Grain of Wheat, from the Father’s side,

Planted deep, in darkness to die.

Oh the tears that flowed from Calvary’s wound

His loss my gain, my healing His pain.

Lord of the Harvest, Thou Bread of Life, Broken and bruised, to nourish me with light;

Oh that Grain of Wheat, from Heaven’s throne,

Unless It dies, It abides alone.

Lord of the Harvest, Thou Bread of Life, Broken and bruised, to nourish me with light;

Oh that Grain of Wheat, ‘neath the Miller’s stone,

Yielded and crushed, ’Thy will not my own.’

Oh the love that flowed, from Calvary’s wound,

Love’s fragrant bloom, first fruit from the tomb.

Lord of the Harvest Thou Bread of Life, Broken and bruised, to nourish me with light;

Oh that Grain of Wheat, pure white and blood red,

Piercing the soil, raising the dead.

Lord of the Harvest, Thou Bread of Life, Broken and bruised, to nourish me with light;

Oh that Grain of Wheat, a full harvest to bring;

A thousand fold, ‘Oh death where thy sting?’

Oh the life that flowed, from Calvary’s wound,

Lord of the Harvest bursting full bloom.

Oh that Grain of Wheat, oh how bountiful

Thy love oh Lord, oh how merciful.

Lord of the Harvest, oh how merciful,

Lord of the Harvest, oh how bountiful.”

Father God planted The Seed into our famine-field. A field famished for a return to the Father; a field famished, longing for truth, peace, renewal, redemption and the favour of God.

Jesus is the planting that we so desperately needed. And we rejoice in the truth that we are His harvest!

WHAT IS YOUR FAMINE?

In what area of your life are you experiencing a famine?

Whenever you face a famine-field you need to apply a famine-faith

Is your famine one of friendships?  Sow friendship.

Is your famine one of finances?  Sow financially.

Is your famine one of lack of appreciation?  Sow gratitude.

Isaac sowed where there was a famine and listen to the result!

“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped [received] in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.”

Let the law of God work for you.

Refuse becoming discouraged.  Sow

Refuse to allow the enemy victory in your land.  Sow

Seed will accomplish what seed is meant to accomplish.

Your seed will result in a hundredfold return (harvest).

It is how God has designed things to be.

It is the very activity that the Father followed.

Exercise your famine-faith and let’s become sowers of His word.

There is a famine in the hearing of the word – let us sow the word.

Listen to 2Cor. 9:10 –

“now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God.”

God promises to provide the seed, we need only look for famine-fields and let the seed fly. Amen.

 

 

PASTORAL PRAYER

Father God we praise you that You sowed Jesus, The Seed, into our famine-field. We thank you that You have provided seed for us as well. And that you anoint Your seed given to us to accomplish Your divine will. We acknowledge that your word will never return to you void, but will accomplish all that you intend. We are surrounded by so many famine-fields. Within our communities there are famines. Within our households there are famines. Allow us to see not only the famine-fields but also the abundance of seed and the profound promise of harvests awaiting. Let us plant! We lift up our dear brothers and sisters that you provide them with seed for eating and seed for planting. We especially remember Christina and her family as well as  Brittany and her family as they struggle with the challenges of loss. Give comfort and light to these dear ladies. Continue to bless those of Ohsweken and the surrounding communities. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that you continue to maintain your vigilance over your chosen people. In these uncertain times we acknowledge that there is certainty in You. That you never change nor waver in your love towards us. That as sons and daughters of the Most High God we are heirs to all things in and through Jesus our LORD and Saviour.  Oh LORD of the Harvest, we await with eagerness your final harvesting. Let us watch and pray for the day fast approaches. But, let us be found ‘doing’ as The Day approaches. Let us not be slack concerning our calling. Let us continue to labour until The Day dawns. We have seed to plant, let us be about planting. We have hope infused throughout our being, let us share that hope with the hopeless. We have gifts unspeakable, let us be gift-givers to those who have not. We are so privileged, so blessed in so many ways, let us be blessings to others. Lift our hearts and  voices in high praise to You, for you truly are worthy of all our worship. In Jesus name, Amen.

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