Harvest Time

OPENING PRAYER

God of grace, help me to diligently work in Your field while there is still time.

 

READ: REVELATION 14:14-20

[14] I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.  [15] Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  [16] So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.  [17] Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.  [18] Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”  [19] The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.  [20] They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

 

REFLECT: WHAT DOES THE HARVEST PICTURE?

In the Old Testament, harvest is often a symbol of judgment on evil, but Jesus spoke of harvest time as a gathering of the good as well as the bad (Matt. 13:30,47). In John’s symbolism here Jesus is the judge who, at a word from the throne, executes his purposes. The first harvest (14–16) in all probability is the gathering of the redeemed—good grain. The second harvest is horrendous. The wine press of God’s wrath produces a tide of blood across the length of the land. There will be a final reckoning in which evil is obliterated and goodness stands. Those who choose the way of evil will be granted their wish. It matters how we choose, and it matters eternally.But note this: God alone knows all of the circumstances behind anyone’s refusal of his grace. God knows the hurt and brokenness and fear that cloud the choice of what is good and true. He knows and he is merciful. He continues to send warning and extend opportunity until the very end and everything can be forgiven. And Jesus, the harvester, is the one who, for love of us all, died to reconcile the world back to God (2 Cor. 5:19).

 

APPLY

Read Hebrews 2:9,10 and 1 Timothy 2:3,4. Use these verses to focus your prayers now.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Jesus, as You told me to, I pray for laborers to enter Your field. Start with me.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.