Today i began thinking about the parable of the sower. I was thinking about how terrible it is that quickly (in some cases, even immediately), people can lose the Word in their lives.
Some never really fully had understanding or love for the Word to begin with, and others…others thought things were completely fine. This to me, is the scariest thing of all (like when Mary and Joseph left Jesus in Jerusalem and went on for a day thinking he was there (Luke 2), when he was nowhere to be found-).
Then–i realized–even before i got further into the parable–that the worst thing i could imagine would be if it took a long long time for someone to miss out. I’d memorized the story of God sowing seed in the past, but while I re-read it, it took on new meaning (which the Bible tends to do for me sometimes), one of caution and understanding around getting choked.
Mark 4 verse 19
And the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
I’ve been reading commentaries now, so after reading the parable through, with a deepening sense of “the thorns are the worst way to go because they COULD take a long time and cause immense pain”, I read the following from a great author (emphasis added):
“In the analogies, the thorns stand for the cares, riches, and lusts of other things, or, as Luke stated it, “cares, riches, and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). Are not most of earth’s pleasures “lusts” of various kinds? Even the pursuit of legitimate pleasure if excessive, may become, in fact, a “lust.”
For numberless souls, it is just a case of permitting the word of God to be choked out by other things. Those who correspond to the thorny soil are they who have not ordered life’s priorities. No man can do everything that comes into his mind as permissible or desirable; and those who attempt to do so will find their lives so filled up that there is not any time left, not even time to pray. “The more complicated life becomes, the more necessity there is to see that our priorities are right.” F15″
The last line really shook me. You know I try to do everything. You might not know that I’ve been recently called to more prayer, and less of everything. But putting that into practice is like trying to beat a crack addiction.
I could argue with this thought–in previous years, I would explain to myself, “Self, this is one person’s viewpoint. It says no MAN can do everything, but you’re a woman! You’ve got a gift for multitasking!” But God’s word never lies and is not something arguable. There’s three LEVELS of thorns involved! No wonder I get so distracted.
“The three classes of thorns stand for distractions which pertain to responsibilities and duties (cares), the possession or pursuit of wealth (riches), and the pursuit of pleasure, that is, following any sinful pleasure, or the inordinate pursuit of even innocent pleasure.” – SearchGodsWord.org.
Finally, I’ve got to say, this post is really, truly, for me. God knows I’ve asked him for weeks for understanding and desire to be in his presence. I’ve asked for help making life less busy, but I haven’t really had any urgency to do so. Dear future Becca, when you come back and read this–if you are not bearing any fruit, you can be SURE it’s because you didn’t heed these words, stop trying to do everything, and start praying when God told you to.
For the rest of you, don’t die a slow and painful plant death. My plant at work just died, and it’s gray and brown and there’s no way to bring it back–trust me, the cares of this world are NOT worth it. And for understanding and increased hunger:
Verses 23, 24
If any man hath ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you.
Euthymius paraphrased this: “In that measure in which you measure your attention to my teaching, in the same measure will spiritual understanding be measured unto you.” F26
For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.
This is no high-handed injustice of robbing the poor to enrich the affluent; but it is the statement of an eternal law, applicable in context or out of it.
In context: To the diligent student of divine truth more of divine truth shall be revealed. The slothful student shall not only learn no more, but shall even forget what he already knows F27.
That last sentence was for Miss Melvina, who has encouraged us young people every single day at work to “put the Word of God in your bank now before you get old and it is too late for you”. She now struggles in memorization and wants our brains to start early.