Sowing and reaping are agricultural terms. The history of agriculture reaches far back to the beginning of mankind’s domestication. A farmer has to nurture the plants all the way down to harvest, or there is no harvest; so after the first seeds were sown, mankind began to settle down; townships were formed, some of which developed into the first big cities.
Seemingly, there is more to the story of sowing and reaping in the eyes of the Apostle Paul. In his letter to the Galatians he mentions that God cannot be mocked. That’s one serious way of describing a farmer’s business.
Looking at the onset of mankind in the first chapter of the book of Genesis, it is curious to note that there was no sowing or reaping whatsoever in Paradise. Adam and Eve had free food whenever they were hungry. Change came after Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of knowledge. From then on they had to take care of themselves. Toiling the soil was meant to be a curse, which is why God said to Adam (Genesis 3:17-19):
17 “Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
In light of the fall of mankind, leaving paradise made it necessary to sow. Food was no longer provided for us. Besides physical sustenance, spiritual inspiration too was no longer readily available. Adam and Eve used to enjoy face to face encounters with God back in the Garden. Those encounters were now history; still this did not mean that God could no longer be accessed. People understood this and they developed a corporate way to seek Him out (Genesis 4:26):
“Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.”
In Adam and Eve’s family history, it was in their grandson Enosh’s generation that people began to organize worship services to formally call on the name of the Lord.
I believe that it is important to realize that both agriculture and organized religion started outside of Eden. It is safe to say that outside of Eden things have never been the same. Although now we have experience under our belt and we know a thing or two about survival, the most important lesson we can learn is how to stay connected to the Lord in this life.
Obstacles to a genuine connection with God are the things we consider more important than Him. If we hold on to anything that separates us from Him, most likely God is currently working on removing those obstacles.
To make the most of our lives we need to focus on our heart and soul, the part of us that can connect with the Lord. Our heart and soul is the engine of our existence. It is our connection with God that carries us into the future, beyond death. As such it takes precedence. We sow into our connection with God, and we harvest a dynamic relationship that will continually lift us up, here on earth and throughout eternity.