Sowing in the Land
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Sowing in the Land

John Triplett

The  situation of our planet and the prophecies of the Bible indicate that we are definitely living in tremendous times—times in which we will need a supernatural measure of faith. When we look in the Bible, we see stories of people who were just like us. They were weak and made mistakes, but were also willing to be led and taught by God. Their lives can help us understand God better and grow in our faith.

In the book of Genesis we find a story of a time not much different from our own. 

And Genesis 12:9-10: 

And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 

From this account, we can infer that the land of Egypt had plenty of food. We can know this for certain from Genesis 41:46-47, which states, 

“And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls."

And Genesis 42:1-2: 

“Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die."

Egypt was a land of fruitfulness; it was a land of prosperity. It sounds very similar to the prosperity of the West today, doesn’t it? When Abraham’s son Isaac came onto the scene, he also faced a famine. And, just like his father, Isaac received a word from the Lord about how to deal with the circumstances he found himself in:

And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father (Genesis 26: 1-3)

Here God appears to Isaac to tell him, “Don’t go to Egypt. Don’t go to the land where everyone wants to go. But rather dwell in this land.” God asks Isaac to stay in the land that has been struck by famine and poverty—a land void of life. God called Isaac to do the illogical thing and stay in a land of death, rather than flee to Egypt—a place of life. This logic does not make sense to the carnal mind, but we need to be prepared for God to call us to do even the illogical thing, as he called Isaac to do.

Sometimes God calls us to do full-time ministry when we have a good career. Sometimes God asks us to love when the world would naturally hate. Sometimes God asks us to give a difficult message that puts us into painful and unpopular positions. Sometimes God calls us to continue working for Him, even when it seems like nothing is working and like we are complete failures. Sometimes God calls us to do things that, quite frankly, do not make sense. And to those around us we may really look like we are doing the illogical thing, but if God is behind it, however strange it might be, it is logical in the eyes of heaven. What constitutes “success” in the world’s eyes is often something completely different in God’s eyes. 

“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him" (Genesis 26:12). Isaac chose to obey God and to sow in the land of famine and death. Today we are in a famine of hearing the Word of God like the one described in Amos 8:11. And sometimes we can become disheartened and discouraged when all we see is a vehement hostility toward the things of God. 

But, in the exact same way that God called Isaac to sow in that parched land, God is calling you and me to sow in this land. This is not a work that your local pastor can do on his own. God calls each and every one of us, the whole Church, to focus on sowing the seeds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can reap a reward in this land of spiritual death, just like Isaac did—a reward of precious blood-bought children of God. 

Genesis 26:13–14 says that God blessed Isaac tremendously, making him the envy of the Philistines. This is significant because the Philistines were usually the ones that loaned money to the Israelites! Isaac was asked to trust in God in the face of famine—when it looked as though nothing could work out and he became the envy of the Philistines, a witness that God was with him. 

How can we apply this today? If we trust God and continue to be faithful to what God has told us to do, He will bless us and use us to further His kingdom. 

We know that Christ is coming soon—the signs in the world today proclaim it loudly. The lessons of trust in God and faithfulness to what He has called us are lessons we need to learn if we are to stay faithful through the trials ahead. God is calling people to a new and higher experience of trust and faithfulness in the face of difficulties and even despair. 

We may very well soon face situations similar to the trials faced by Daniel and his three friends. Because Daniel was faithful, God exalted him to be a great ambassador, a great witness, to all those around. Daniel and his friends were exalted on three separate occasions to be ambassadors for the God of Heaven—after hearing the king's dream (Daniel 2), in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), and in the lion’s den (Daniel 6). These three scenarios have one thing in common: a death decree. 

Let us take a look at Revelation 13:11-17 and compare the end-time trials with the trials of Daniel.And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he...causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed....saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

I used to think that this was a scary passage, and in some ways I still do, but now I see it a bit differently. During the Beast crisis there is going to be an escalation, an increase of pressure, an increase of intensity, just as there was in Daniel’s day. During the time of the unveiling of the golden image, Daniel’s three friends were not thrown into the furnace immediately. Instead there was a step-by-step increase of pressure levied against them to abandon their allegiance to God. 

After the death decree was issued in Daniel 3, the circulation of God’s message sped up. Everyone was at the dedication of the image, and everyone was a witness to the power of God and the faithfulness of His servants. Every person there took home an unbelievable firsthand account of the power of Daniel’s God. 

The death decree in our time will be a means of telling the whole world the Three Angels' Messages in a very short amount of time. Then Jesus will come, and we will be with Him for all eternity. But until then, God is giving us trials everyday to prepare us for the time when we will have to stand against the whole world as people that “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

This is a time when many are beginning to faint or even to wonder if they shouldn’t go down to Egypt, to wonder if “drought” and “famine” is really where God wants them to be, especially as the economy is failing and financial stability is collapsing. Instead, this should be the time for us to hold on even tighter. The devil wants to destroy every single one of God's people. I am so thankful that Jesus wants to save us even more than we want to save ourselves. Let us hold fast to Him in these closing moments of Earth's history. 

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