Harvest Time and What To Do About It

Looking out of Grandpa Kiko's barn on an autumn evening.

Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” ~ Exodus 34:21

My goal was to find passages about harvest and storehouses. I would begin with the directive that says labor for six days, rest on the seventh. I’d talk about stocking up, preparing for cold, harvesting final vegetables from the garden and putting it to bed for winter. I’d mention planting bulbs now for spring glory. And then I’d continue with verses like these:

Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. ~ Leviticus 26:5

When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. ~ Deut. 24:19

But then I stumbled across this passage from Jeremiah 5. It goes on and on, and though it is God addressing Israel it seems it could have been written for us … for now … for modern times. Which is why I believe the Bible. It’s God’s master plan. It’s his spoken word, his chosen directives, his rules to live by, his vast love and yes, an account of his anger, warnings and wrath that came and will come again. This passage is harsh, it is frightening … but then again, so is the world we know and allow today.

People of Israel,” declares the Lord“I am bringing a distant nation against you — an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand.

16 Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors.

17 They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely.

19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah:

21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:

22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord“Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.

23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts they have turned aside and gone away.

24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’

25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.

26 “Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people.

27 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful

28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor.

29 Should I not punish them for this?” declares the Lord“Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land:

31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?

But what will you (and I!) do in the end? 


Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Susanne November 3, 2014 (3:09 pm)

    These are quite humbling words, and also brings to mind the hymn “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood, and righteousness.”

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko November 5, 2014 (6:50 am)

      Yes! What a lovely hymn … and string of words to live by!