Being a very large book, you could imagine that the Bible talks about numerous subjects. Although it’s central purpose and message is about what Jesus did on the cross and God’s redemptive work for mankind. It’s definitely theological in nature, but in attempting to convey its message, the numerous authors of Scripture use illustrations of common things like sports, farming, marriage, and daily activities. This is one of the reasons that the Bible is so marvelous; it can use common language to explain profound truths. In this article, I am going to talk about the top 7 Bible verses about farmers or related to farming.
“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29 ESV
From the beginning of the Scriptures, we learn that Adam and Eve were originally created as people who would farm. Whether or not that has some spiritual significance may be up for debate; but at the very least, it has some geographical and environmental significance. Genesis is the book of beginnings, and here we see the beginnings of the use of farming and things related to farming within the Bible.
“And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.” Deuteronomy 11:13-15 ESV
If you fast forward a little bit from Genesis, you get to the book and time period of Deuteronomy. Here, we learn that many of God’s promises to the Israelites specifically had to do with land—eventually culminating in the Promised Land and even a future New Jerusalem. On a slightly lesser not, though, God also made promises to the Jews about provision; if they follow Him, they will be blessed and provided for. But, if not, they will experience famine and hardship.
“It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” 2 Timothy 2:6 ESV
In this pastoral epistle, the Apostle Paul speaks a lot about how to run a church, live a godly life and about the pastorate in general. In this verse, Paul explains that the Pastor is definitely allowed and even entitled to get paid for his work. Just as the farmer gets to reap the reward of his physical labor, so too does the Pastor get to reap rewards from his spiritual labor.
“Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:9 ESV
Our goal as Christians is to bear good fruit. It’s yet another wonderful example of how the Bible uses farming analogies to fit with spiritual truth.
“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth” Psalm 104:14 ESV
God is sovereign over all of nature; He created it and he expects mankind to be stewards over it.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV
Here, Paul is talking about the various roles people may have in cultivating spiritual growth in others. In other words, Paul was the one who started the initial growth but Apollos was the one who fed them spiritually—and even more, God is the one over everything!
“And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. …” Matthew 13:3-30 ESV
As one of the more popular parables of Jesus, here we are to ask ourselves: what is kind of soil is our heart?
Farming lends itself to some great spiritual truths, as found throughout the Scripture. Through analogy, it can show us how we can cultivate spiritual growth, work hard, and be watered by the Gospel. Are there any favorite references/analogies to farming that you’ve come across in the Bible? Let me know in a comment below!
Article by Michael Krauszer