Reaping Where You Did Not Sow

By: Steve Leland

Luke 19:21 (KJV) For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

This verse occurs during the wrap-up of the parable of the man who gave his servants some money and told them to occupy until he returned from a trip that he was taking.

Sidebar: To “occupy” doesn’t mean to just be present in a location, it means to take charge of the situation. Think of an occupying army; they impose their will on the country over which they have taken charge. They may loot it and terrorize the populace, or they may rebuild it and assist the people to thrive.

Yeshua told his disciples, extending to us, to occupy till his return. We are to be building the Kingdom and transforming society around us while we wait; not just entertaining ourselves.

What always bothered me was the statement that the servant made to the master. He told his master that he had been afraid because his master was harsh and rigid who picked things up that he hadn’t laid down and harvested what he hadn’t planted. In response, his master flat out admitted these statements. This seemed to imply to me that his master was a thief.

How could this be? I take this parable as being an example for us occupying until our master Yeshua returns. He is in the war with us against the enemy, so I can understand that there are times that his expectations of us might feel a bit harsh and rigid, but to have him portrayed as a thief just didn’t sit well with me.

So, I spent many years being bothered by this, until I realized the scenario in which the last statement could make sense without equaling theft. If a farmer was going broke in between the time that he had planted a field of wheat, for instance, and the maturing of the crop, and he was forced to sell the land prior to the ripening of the grain, the new owner would have the right to harvest what the original owner had planted.

Another sidebar: Land in the Old Testament was owned in perpetuity by the family. Any land that was sold reverted to the family at the 50-year Jubilee. So, the only real value that the new owner could realize was the crops grown on that land in the number of years left until the Jubilee. Allowing the previous owner to harvest the growing crop would diminish his return on investment.

As far as the “taking up what he hadn’t laid down,” I don’t have any understanding, but I would imagine that Yah has a perfect answer that we will know at some point down the road.

Luke 19:26 (KJV) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

Notice that even those that think that they don’t have anything have more to lose than they realize.

Personally, I have never been a writer. But Yah has convinced me that with His help I can do a bit of it. If I had left it buried, I wouldn’t be sharing these thoughts that may bless a few people here and there.
By: Steve Leland