The Seed, the Sowing, and the Harvest
(The Lord God prepares, sows, and harvests the prophetic word and the prophet – His Kingdom word)
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant”, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 31:27,28)
And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:4-15)
Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my speech. Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? When he has levelled its surface, does he not sow the black cumin and scatter the cummin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place? For He instructs him in right judgment, His God teaches him. For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin; But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick, and the cummin with a rod. Bread flour must be ground; therefore he does not thresh it forever, break it with his cartwheel, or crush it with his horsemen. This also comes from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. (Isaiah 28:23-29)
The Lord reveals that He sows seeds, and different of differing kinds. He calls us to partner with Him in the sowing, often this is in speaking His word, and in prophetic action. In Isaiah 28 the Lord reveals something special about the seeds He sows, and when considering the whole chapter (particularly Is. 28: 16-19), how this relates to His work of restoration. While at first versus 23-29 might seem to just reveal the Lord’s guidance to us and how it works in industry, and also His guidance applies to leaders, as you look deeper you find our Father in heaven revealing more about the seeds that He sows in to His kingdom, and the methods of harvest He uses. Consider the following, where we bring together the characteristics of the plant, and the meanings behind the original Hebrew for the relevant words.
- ‘Sow the black cummin (fennel flower)’ – A fragrant, like sweet anise, plant, that has properties for healing, and health. Even vitamins that bring enrichment => a seed of His word that brings the aroma of heaven, healing, and the foundations of health, even bringing healing to the land.
- ‘Scatter the cummin’ – a condiment, with health benefits, speaking of preserving/preserve, store up, and adds flavour => seeds that preserve, bring flavour (as in spiritual salt), and the foundations of health.
- ‘Plant the wheat in rows’ – grain, wheat, as in for bread, deliberate harvest, sown in order => seed that is the bread of life, sown as led, that brings forth a great harvest when sown in prepared land.
- ‘Barley in the appointed place’ – A harvest plant, that brings for a seed for food, the grain required more work to use, but will bring forth goodness. The feminine of the Hebrew word for Barley speaks of the plant, the masculine derivative of the same work speaks of the seed. Also speaks of roughness, fear, the storm, tempest, and the whirlwind => Seeds for the wind and storm (even whirlwind),
- ‘Spelt(Rye) in its place’ – Spelt (type of rye), can also be fitches; A durable seed to harvest. Also speaks of ‘to shear/cut; poll; as in like ‘lay waste’ but rather to harvest => Seed that speaks of the two edged sword of His word/bread, that can also bring healing, aroma, and a spiritual feed that separates spirit and soul, and flesh and bone (Heb. 4:12).
In addition to insight in to the seed the Lord will sow in to the land, the church, the community, and to us, He also reveals the means of harvesting the fruit/seed of the planting, He moves in different ways, largely depending on the nature of the seed.
- Black cummin (fennel flower) beaten out with a staff/stick => healing and the aroma/atmosphere of heaven released/harvested by the hand in God’s authority.
- Cummin beaten out with the rod – as in for correction, walking, writing, ruling, tribal standard (even speaks of the Branch => the harvest comes through the hand of discipleship by God (your walk with Christ as you press in to Him), and perhaps the correction/instruction of His word.
- Wheat is lightly threshed with the hand or by the machine, and lightly ground with the hand => When the harvest is ready, it is easy, and the ministry of God through the word, and the hand will prosper, but the harsh ways will not prosper.
- Barley is heavily threshed with the machine, and needs more work to harvest, and even the wheel (and cart) to reveal the fruit of this seed => The sifting of God will seem hard, and the angelic/heavenly living creatures encounter of wheels within wheels (Ezek. 1:15-21; 9:3-4; 10:2-13; Daniel 7:9) will release its intent/fruit.
- Spelt (rye) is also heavily threshed, and even the grounding of horses is needed (to remove the hull) and reveal the fruit of this plant => The sifting of God, and the Lord’s cavalry (army) releases the fruit of this seed (aka spiritual warfare with angelic involvement).
Thus the Lord reveals here in Isaiah 28 (and supported by other Scriptures such as Genesis 1:12,13,29; Deut. 22:9; Isaiah 45:19; Jeremiah 1:9,10; 31:26,7; Daniel 2:43-44; Matthew 13:27-38; Luke 4:26,27; 8:4-15; 1 Cor. 15:38; 2 Cor. 9:10; Gal. 3:29; 1 Peter 1:23-25), His keys to building the kingdom of God in, through, and around us through the sowing of the seed, and its harvest. This is a key prophetic understanding, and ancient tool, as He utilises the prophetic (and prophetic intercession) to prepare, plant, and harvest. However this work the Lord will do in other, and broader ways, and the seed can take many forms, and even prophetic actions – and even be man.
When used by the Lord to plant such seeds, know He has first prepared the ground, His instruction revealed in Isaiah make it clear we are to trust in His harvesting, and know He will even use His angelic army as part of the reaping, and that sometimes the process of receiving the fruit will seem hard, but it is part of His plan. The sowing of the seed may be the prophetic word, or action, all by the anointing and leading of the Holy Spirit, and as it involves the word of God, may even include God planting you or someone as a prophetic word and action (remembering you are the spoken word of God).
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23)
The word of His kingdom, is sown in prophetic utterance by the Holy Spirit, is planted in many ways, and it then its fruit is revealed after it grows, and in the harvesting by God can come the threshing first, before the bounty is revealed. This word may bring healing, shift the atmosphere to heaven, be the very bread of life, cause the signs and wonders like whirlwinds and shake up His creation, or cut like a two edged sword, in a way that brings healing and restoration. The sowing can often come in the form of prophetic intercession/prayer, and be associated with a prophetic action as led by the Holy Spirit.
Likewise, as a son or daughter of His Kingdom He will plant you in his prepared location, and nurture you to growth, and at the appointed time will come the harvest of the fruit of His work through you. This fruit follows the threshing, and sometime grinding, and even spiritual war fare, that is the Kingdom way. The prophetic word and/or kingdom ministry He has in you, and that He speaks through you, having walked with Christ, and pushed through with His enabling in a way that humbles and prepares you for His mighty ministry. The Lord will sieve you to ascertain our heart, and while many may seek to move powerful in His word, even seeing signs and wonders, know that this fruit comes from the Lord, and that even pressure on all sides (and more) may be used by Him to prepare you for such a ministry – perhaps a journey testified to by the heroes of faith, such as the Apostles, prophets of the Bible, and Christ Himself.
 The Lord often had prophets (e.g Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosiah, and Agabus) minister through prophetic actions in the Bible, and this has not changed.