Jump Start # 2936
Psalms 126:6 “He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bring his sheaves with him.”
His name was Knowles Shaw and he was known as the singing evangelist. He was a preacher from Indiana who lived in the 1800’s. In his day he was one of the better known preachers. It is claimed that he baptized more than 11,000 people. He had a gift for music and often during a sermon, he’d break out and sing a solo to the audience. He was also known as a hymn writer. He wrote, “I am the vine and ye are the branches,” and, “Tarry with Me,” and “We saw Thee not.” But one of his better known hymns was “Bringing in the sheaves.”
Our passage sounds as if it was the starting place for Shaw’s hymn. There the Psalmist talks about “bring his sheaves with him.” We don’t sing “Bringing in the sheaves,” much any more. It’s been dropped from many songbooks. A newer generation doesn’t really know what a sheave is. Our verse today helps us.
It begins with crying and ends with shouting for joy. It starts with a bag of seeds and ends with sheaves being brought in. The idea of a sheave is what the farmer would harvest. Here, the Psalmist has the heavy task of sowing the seed. It’s hard work and he must be patient. Seeds do not grow over night. But in time, that crop grows. It ripens and then it is ready for harvest. This is what the farmer has been waiting for. The toil, tears and trouble are now replaced with shouts of joy. The harvest has come and it’s been good.
And, that concept is true for us in many applications.
First, I think of that diligent preacher who works long and hard on his sermon. He’s checking words and their definitions in the original language. He’s jotting notes on pieces of paper. He scratches out some words. He works and works to get that sermon just where he thinks it needs to be. Then Sunday comes and he’s up preaching it. Few know how many hours went into that sermon. There’s been some sermons that more than one book was read just to get the right insights. But on that Sunday, a person stops and tells the preacher that those words meant so much to him. Sheaves. A harvest. A work well worth it.
Second, think of parenting. It’s much more than a week of work, it’s a lifetime. Every day there are trials and challenges. A lot of tears are found in parenting. Correcting. Encouraging. Being patient. Showing. Teaching. Over and over and over. That’s parenting. That child grows. He moves out. One day he is teaching a Bible class or he is raising his own children in a godly way. Sheaves. Harvest time. A work well worth it.
Third, think of the work shepherds do with individuals. Many, if not most, never know anything about it. A marriage that is faltering and about to split open. A discouraged member who is ready to quit. A young person who has got caught up in the wrong crowd. Messy. Lots of conversations. Lots of prayers. Tears. And, then, that marriage takes off and soars. That discouraged person is now encouraging others. That teen is bringing friends to services. Harvest time. Sheaves. Great joy.
Fourth, think about your own person journey. Lots of reading. Lots of thinking. Notebooks with sermon notes. Verses underlined and words circled in your Bible. It’s a lot of work. But something happens. That faith becomes strong. That knowledge fills the heart. The harvest. The sheaves. Time well spent because you know the Lord. You are confident in your walk. You know where to find the answers and how to respond to people. It’s great being a Christian and it shows in all that you do.
Finally, someday the harvest season will be here for all of us. All that we have done, good or bad will come about. Now, if we have failed to plant, then there won’t be much of a harvest. To have sheaves in the fall, the seed has to be planted in the spring. Too many sow wild oats and then pray for a crop failure. That just won’t happen. Whatever we sow, that is what we will reap. So if we’ve been too busy for our family, later in life when we need them, they may not be there for us. If we have spent a lifetime being worldly, it shouldn’t surprise us that our name is passed over when congregations are looking for spiritual leaders. And, if we have not walked with the Lord, then the day will come when we won’t be with the Lord. You harvest what you have sown. Put in rows of kindness, patience and grace and look what you will harvest. Put in rows of service, joy and encouragement and what a wonderful harvest you will have.
Bringing in the sheaves. Knowles Shaw died tragically in McKinney, Texas. He was riding on a train when it derailed and went down an embankment. He saved a fellow passenger, but he died. His body was brought back to Indiana and a large funeral was held for him.
And, for Knowles Shaw, as for all of us, the harvest time came.