“God’s Law of Seed-Time & Harvest!”
Shalom Partner and Friend of Israel,
To understand "Seed-Time" and "Harvest-Time" we need to understand what God says about it in His, Word – the Bible. We may see change in the seasons …but until the End-of-Time, they will always follow the same pattern! God is transcendent over time. He established the cycle of days and seasons by which time is known and reckoned (Genesis 1:14) and possesses the power to dissolve them according to His eternal purposes (Isaiah 60:19-20); moreover, He controls world history, determining in advance the times set for all nations and bringing them to pass (Daniel 2:21; Acts 17:26). But God is not limited by time (Psalm 90:4). It in no sense diminishes His person or work: The Eternal God does not grow tired or weary (Isaiah 40:28) and His purposes prevail (Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 46:10). "Time" is meaningfully forward-moving and days are now escalating at a fast pace. The word "Moed" in Hebrew means; appointment, fixed time, season; like a festival, sacred season, set feast and appointed season! The covenants God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jeremiah illustrate that history reveals a progressive unveiling of God's redemptive plan for humanity. Prophetic fulfilment, according to God's appointed times, does so as well. "Time" is real for God! It becomes the means to which He makes known His enduring love to humankind. On the other, "time" and "humanity" are immortal in the sense that both have a starting point and continue on indefinitely! (John 3:16; 1 John 5:13 or Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)
When God created the first living thing, He gave it the ability to grow and multiply. How? Through the principle of sowing and reaping. ALL life begins by this principle, and since birth our lives have operated by this same principle. “The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.” - Deuteronomy 28:4.
Everyday life in Ancient Israel was largely affected by that which was beyond the control of man …the seasons and the weather. God in His infinite wisdom created the seasons to teach a lesson that He is in control of the time that events will happen …and His promises are always true! In Israel the modern yearly cycle with its four seasons are not as clearly marked as the lands to the north of it. To the Jewish people every season was a special time and a reminder of the promises of God. The first thing Noah did after the Flood was to build an altar and make a sacrifice to the Lord. God was pleased with Noah and made promises to the human family through the faith of Noah. One of the promises given at this time was the - “Law of Seedtime and Harvest”; “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall NOT cease.” - Genesis 8:22. Though the Bible specifically mentions summer and winter, spring and autumn, it may come as a surprise to know that the Bible never mentioned four seasons, but only two. Israel literally has only two seasons - winter and summer. So, it isn’t surprising that in the Hebrew of old, in the Bible, Talmud and other Ancient texts, there is no word for this lovely season of “fall” or “autumn.” You’ll notice that the translators of the King James Bible translated the Hebrew word; “stav” as winter. This is as it should be as the translation is clearly supported by the text …surely it isn’t autumn that ends with the last rain of the season?
The Hebrew word “stav,” which comes from the Aramaic word “sitva” plainly means “winter” but is translated today as “fall” or “autumn,” is mentioned only once in the Bible; "…for lo, the winter is passed, the rain is over and gone..." - Song of Solomon 2:11 …and “stav” really speaks of the time of the winter rains! The Hebrew word “Aviv,” translated today as “spring” is mentioned twice in the Bible …and both referring to a stage in the ripening of barley rather than a season. The month of “Aviv” (Chodesh ha'Aviv) is the time when this ripening of barley takes place in the Hebrew Biblical month of Nissan. It is also the time for the Feast of Pesach – Passover and is mentioned as “spring” Feasts of the Lord. There was no mention of a season called spring anywhere in the Bible and so we must conclude that the Bible only recognizes two seasons; summer and winter, or as the writers of the Talmud (means “learning”) teachings put it… “the days of sun” and “the days of rain.” Why does Israel now have Four Seasons? Under the influence of the Greco-Roman Civilization, the Jews divided the year into four seasons by using the original Hebrew names of the months in which each season began: Tishri (October), Tevet (January), Nissan (April), Tammuz (July).
The climate of Israel is important… for the most part a land of sunshine and good weather. Though the land comprises of a very small geographical area, there are considerable differences in temperature. For example; Mount Hermon, with its white snow-caps all year-round, towers 9000 ft (2743 m) above sea level, while the Dead Sea is 1292 ft (394 m) below sea level. The land of Israel enjoys sunny blue skies from the beginning of May to the end of September, with little or no rain, and this made it possible for large number of pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem for; the various Feasts of the Lord and to spend several days with Christ in the wilderness. All along the Mediterranean coastline the lands have a climate which is almost tropical. The winters are wet and snow at times in Jerusalem but mostly in the north, Galilee and in the Golan Heights …but the summers are very hot and dry. Because of the blessing of this seasonal contrast in Israel snow will fall on the mountains and tropical fruits will ripen in the plains!
Days and Nights in Israel… The Romans reckoned the hours from midnight but Israel goes with Biblical day - “sunset to sunrise,” a fact which explains the apparent discrepancy between John 19:14, where, at the sixth-hour (of Roman calculation), Pilate brings Yeshua (Jesus) out to the Jews, while at the third-hour to the Jews, and hence the ninth-hour of the Roman and of our calculation (Mark 15:25), He was led forth to be crucified. The night was divided by the Romans into four and by the Jews into three watches.
The amount of rainfall in Israel really depends on how high above sea level you are. It rains much more in the mountains then it does in the plains. The mountains many times capture the stormy clouds and prevent them from reaching inland. The highest mountains, those north of Galilee, receive the most rain. For example, in the hills of Judea they may only receive 20-30 inches (50-70cm) of annual rainfall whereas Mount Hermon and the other mountains in the area may receive 60 inches (152 cm). As you reach the southern tip near Beersheba it may only rain less than 8 inches. It is interesting to note that because of the Rift, the long straight land trench of the Jordan valley, the city of Jericho receives very little rainfall, maybe 4 inches (10 cm) annually, while in Jerusalem only about 15 miles (24 Kms) to the West there is approximately 20 inches (50 cm) of annual rainfall. This may explain why Lot chose the area of Sodom and Gomorrah to dwell, and why 2 of the 12 tribes of Israel decided that the land east of the Jordan was a good land and remained there (Numbers 32). During Roman times this land became famous for its fertility, in fact Mark Anthony had given his balsam plantations in this territory to Cleopatra. Another interesting fact is that the rainfall in the land of Israel was never really consistent. Sometimes there were very wet winters and other times they were famines and drought. This fluctuation plays an important role in history of God's people teaching them that they needed to depend on Him rather than any certainties in the climate! God is in control of the weather!
Even the Dew in Israel is important… In many areas in the land of Israel, especially along the coastline, there were extremely heavy dews that came in from the Mediterranean on the summer days, and then fall to the ground as it cooled into night. Some areas along the coast have dew two-thirds of the year, which would provide for them nearly one-quarter of their moisture. This also played a major part in the life of the people of Israel. Elijah the Prophet, for example, when he predicted the coming drought said; “…there will be neither dew nor rain,” - I Kings 17:1.
While eternal life is the greatest spiritual blessing we can receive, God also blesses His children materially in so many ways. We rejoice in the gifts with which God has blessed us, but the Bible also reminds us to share with others around us who are in need. To illustrate this kind of generosity, God commanded the Israelites not to harvest their fields completely. The corners were to be left for the poor (Leviticus 23:22) …and the Book of Ruth is a good example of our generous God to widows and orphans. We learn that Ruth, who was both poor and a gentile, sought to provide for her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, by gleaning the grain left by the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself gleaning in the fields of Boaz, a God-fearing man who obeyed the commandments of Adonai (Lord). When Boaz discovered that Ruth had come back to Israel with his relative Naomi, he became her “kinsman redeemer” - “Go'el HaDahm” from the Hebrew root word lig'ol (to redeem), hence meaning “redeemer” …and went far and above the law’s requirements in leaving grain behind for her. (Ruth 1:22; 2:1–9, 15–16) It is also a beautiful example of God blessing those who bless His people Israel! Ruth a Gentile who blessed Israel became the great grandmother of King David!
Let’s look at some of important yearly Biblical events in Israel Calendar as they correspond with our Gregorian calendar… Following God’s Calendar is so useful to mankind most especially those believers who genuinely believe in and faithfully follow Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) …because with in it, God has hidden so many secrets to understanding HIS WAYS and Divine Plans for us. Firstly, Israel’s “Seed-Time” and “Harvest” in the Biblical Hebrew Calendar Months are all connected to the Seven Feasts of the Lord: “Three times a year (First-Fruit offering) all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place He will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Passover), the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot / Pentecost) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).” - Deuteronomy 16:16. It is a time when God commands His people to give a freewill offering and everyone was to bring something, giving in proportion to how He has blessed them. “No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.” - Deuteronomy 16:16–17.
In Israel in January is the month of Shevat. On 15th Shevat the minor holiday Tu’B’Shivat “new year for the trees” or “birthday of tree’s” in Israel. This is the coldest month, which brings with it dark and gloomy days and heavy rainfalls. Israeli’s thank God for their blessing and harvest.
In February the Biblical month of Adar - and during this time rainy days and sunny days alternated frequently. During the month of February, the “almond trees” begin to blossom and the late “barley” seeds are sown.
The month of Nisan (March/April) is beginning of barley harvest. This month had much sunshine but very heavy winds. The rains of March and April are known in Scripture as the "latter rains", which supplied nourishment to the barley and wheat crops before they are "white for harvest." Sometimes this month would receive the heaviest rainfall, the apricot and almond trees would show off their beauty.
During (April/May) the month of Iyyar is barley harvest. This was called the month of flowers, and it was the greenest and considered the most beautiful of all the months. Many times, during this month the dry desert winds would blow in for three days at a time, melting the winter snow, and quickening the vegetation. During this month the harvesting begins in the Jordan valley and on the coastal plain. The fruit trees are in blossom and show their young foliage - the peach, pomegranate, olive, and many more.
Biblical month of Sivan (May/June) is the time of wheat harvest. During the month of May the heat magnifies and the rain ceases for about five months. Because of the change in landscape of this hot month Yeshua (Jesus) may have drawn His analogy; "…the grass withers and the flowers fade away." Also, in May the harvesting begin in the plains and the lands, the spring fruits are ready, the green almonds, apricots, plums, and the vines are in blossom.
Tammuz is time of harvesting. During June/July the land for the most part becomes barren and parched, and harvesting continues in the highlands.
The month of Av (July/August) the grapes, figs and olives are ripe. During August the intense summer heat is cooled by the westerly breezes and the farmers are busy on their threshing floors.
Elul usually occurs in August/September. In the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is “a time of repentance” in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Elul is the hottest month of the year, and even on the coast it is 40 deg. C in the shade, and much hotter inland. During this month the grapes, figs, peaches, apples, and pears ripen.
The month of Tishri (Sept/Oct) is the early rains and ploughing beginning. And, during September the summer heat is intensified by the “siroccos” or desert winds, which can last much longer than the winds of spring. The farmers would dry their figs for winter, and would make their grapes into raisins, syrup, and wine. The pomegranates and bananas would ripen. Usually around the end of September would be the first shower after a long summer drought.
The month of Cheshvan (Oct/Nov) is time for wheat, barley sowing. Farmers would be finishing with their grape and fig harvests, olives would be gathered, the fattened sheep would be slaughtered, and the sugarcane and dates would ripen, ploughing would begin and the rains would loosen up the hard-dry ground. During October were the heavier rains known in Scripture as “the former rains.” And, in the Biblical month of Kislev (Nov/Dec) and Grain planting continues.
The Word of God often refers to itself as a seed… There is a total of forty-four verses in the New Testament where the Greek word “sperma” was translated “seed.” This is the same word from which we derive our English word “sperm.”
To conceive and give birth to the miracles you need, you must first plant God’s Word like a seed in your heart. Conception cannot take place without first planting the seed. There has only been one virgin birth, and the birth of a miracle won’t be the second. A true revelation of God’s Word is the single most important element of a victorious believer’s life. And, those who pray and believe for God’s intervention in their lives, but remain frustrated with the results. It’s because they are missing the “seeds” of conception and don’t know God’s Word. In Mark 4, the Lord taught three parables which illustrate that the Word is to the “Kingdom of God” what a natural seed is to a harvest. The first of these parables, the story of the sower, is the key to unlocking all the Word of God (Mark 4:13). If we don’t understand these truths, Yeshua (Jesus) said we won’t understand any of His other parables.
The Lord used the comparison of His Word, the Bible, to a law of nature that is unchangeable, NOT an institution of man. We can cheat or manipulate nearly all systems that men have created and even the governmental legal system can be beaten, letting the guilty go free. Our educational system can be beaten, passing students who haven’t really learned the material. But, we can’t change God’s Law and principle on “Seed-Time and Harvest.” What if a farmer waited until he saw his neighbours reaping their crops before he sowed for his crop? Regardless of how sincere he was, or the justification for not “sowing” his seed at the proper time, he would not reap a crop overnight. The law of “Seed-Time and Harvest” cannot be violated. This is why our Lord chose to compare the way His Word works to “a seed.” There is a germination process of the Word of God in your life that takes time and can’t be avoided – (Mark 4:26-29) we read it clearly. Question: What would happen if we planted a seed in our gardens and then dug it up each morning to see if anything was happening? It would die and never produce fruit. We have to have faith that the seed is doing what God created it to do!
We understand “Seed-Time and Harvest” in the natural, but, as Christians and believers in Yeshua (Jesus) - what about “Spiritual Seed-Time and Harvest” … So, if we understand the “seed-times” and “harvest-times” of Israel we can understand more deeply the meaning of “Sowing and Reaping!” We also can understand the Biblical meaning of “giving!” Nothing in the Bible is just coincidence! In the natural, bringing in a harvest has always been a season of first “sowing” and then comes a time of “waiting” but is followed by the time of “reaping” and of great celebration. The reward for sowing, watering and protecting precious seed symbolizes abundance and fruit from a season of work and sacrifice. When it comes to a spiritual harvest, our expectancy should be the same. Sow, wait, reap. Sounds simple, right? Yet, if like most people, we find ourselves at one time or another wondering what happened to our harvest? We’ve sowed, prayed and waited. But nothing comes. And, in fact, it seems like a harvest is long overdue. Or, maybe the devil has come like a pesky crow and stolen all the seed. Either way, we are left wondering …could there be something more to this process? The simple answer is YES!
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” - Galatians 6:7.” If we desire a harvest in our lives, one thing is sure - we can’t reap if we don’t sow. the devil has tricked so many Christians into believing they can’t afford to sow financially or otherwise into God’s Kingdom work and works overtime trying to keep us in fear about giving away our resources. Why? Because he knows how much we stand to gain in both the “natural” and the “spiritual realms.” Our Lord Yeshua (Jesus) said; “…that if you give you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full - pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back!” – Luke 6:38. That’s a powerful truth! That’s why the enemy doesn’t want believers participating in sowing. In fact, he’d prefer that we just forget about it altogether. But that would only be to our own detriment …because in Genesis 8:22, it is promised that while the earth remains, “seedtime and harvest” will NOT cease! It’s a Kingdom of God principle and sure promise!
What is seed? Seed is anything we give. It can be time, money, resources, faith, hope or love. The most important part of sowing is the heart behind the gift. So, when we sow, we must be sure we are acting as a good sower says, “Remember this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously (that blessings may come to someone) will also reap generously and with blessings.” - 2 Corinthians 9:6. When you give in grudgingly there is no faith, so there is no return. So, we must always sow our seed in joy and we will reap a harvest! Are you due for a harvest? Well, get ready for the windows of heaven to open, because the Lord of the harvest has a plan for you to receive the bounty of His greatest blessings.
“Honour the Lord with your substance and the first-fruit of all your increase.” – Proverbs 3:9. There is a specific Biblical principle that we are to be deeply convicted about and share this with you after years of studying the Word of God so that you can be blessed. This principle is found from early on throughout the Bible, and it supernaturally unlocks amazing opportunity, blessing, favour and divine order for our lives. It is the basis or underlying support for your success in 2019 and it’s God’s principle of First-Fruits. All Firsts belong to God. When we honour this principle, it provides the foundation and structure for God’s blessings and promises in our lives, it unlocks deep dimensions of spiritual truths that literally transform our lives! When we apply this everything comes in divine alignment for His plan and promises for us.
Ask anyone this question… “Who wants to be blessed?” Naturally, everyone will raise their hands. But now ask… “Who wants to be cursed?” No hands will go up. The Lord’s promise to Abraham, “…I (God) will bless those who bless you (Israel), and curse those who curse you (Israel).” - Genesis 12:1-33. Israel is that nation of the promise. It has always been, it is now, and it will always remain so. Our choice to either bless or curse Israel and the God of Israel determines our fate, as individual and as nation. There are blessings attached when we stand with and pray for Israel’s safety… “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you shall prosper,” - Psalm 122:6. A quick summary to this; Prosperity: (Genesis 12:3 and Psalm 122:6); Divine healing: (Luke 7:1–5); Salvation and Outpouring of the Holy Spirit: (Acts 10) came first to the Gentiles who blessed the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in a particular way. Paul expands on this in Romans 15:27; God blesses the Gentiles through the Jews: (Genesis 30:27) for example Egypt was BLESSED because of Joseph (a Jew): (Genesis 39:5; 41:38–40) Egypt CURSED because of the forgetting of Joseph: Exodus 1:8.
The principle that Gentiles are blessed through Israel - the Jewish Nation is verified in the New Testament… Our Lord Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) of Nazareth a Rabbi was; “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles” - Luke 2:32; Salvation is of the Jews. When the Samaritan woman (a Gentile) went to the well to get water, Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, “…you (Gentiles) worship what you do not know; we (the Jews) know what we worship, for Salvation is of the Jews.” - John 4: 22. The Roman soldier (Centurion) was blessed because he loved Israel and particularly helped the Jews (Luke 7:4-6); Cornelius was divinely selected by God, to receive the Gospel of Salvation and the first to receive the Holy Spirit, because he was a righteous Gentile who expressed his unconditional love for the Jewish people. Cornelius gave arms to the Jews living around him in Caesarea (Acts 10:31) …the point was made three times in the same chapter. Cornelius provoked the blessing on his household, fulfilling the Covenant made with Abraham; “I will bless those who bless you.” There are so many more examples and we suggest reading our teaching on “Understanding our call to stand with and bless Israel” – Stand with Israel!
God’s Word is true! He IS watching to see how the nations are treating His people. God will have mercy on Israel through Gentile believers acting as mediators towards them. This is one of the most amazing revelations ever given to the church – an opportunity to do something that carries the highest priority in the heart of God. Yet, sadly, so few have seen the potential and the rewards of serving God in this manner - as agents of mercy to Israel and the Jewish people! Israel was and still is despised today and a despised nation continually turning away from God BUT nothing ever altered the purpose of God for that nation. The despised element is always a noticeable element in the purpose of God. When the Saviour of the world came, He came of that despised nation; like Israel… He Himself was “despised and rejected by men,” …and there is that despised element; “…things that are despised God has chosen,” 1 Corinthians 1:28. Now, more than at any time is the time to support Israel and the Jewish people - the Lord’s Brethren! We are witnessing the nations and people turning their backs on Israel. Thank you once again for your prayers and generous financial support so that we can continue to bless Israel and be a voice for truth!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
01st July, 2019
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