Food from the earth

Scripture: “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth”
Psalm 104 :14.

Preacher: Rev. Ivan Foster

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This psalm has been called the poet’s version of the Genesis account of creation. The author is believed to be David most likely. One can well imagine the observations of nature set down in this psalm being noted by the shepherd boy on the hills of Bethlehem as he tended the flocks of his father.
To the spiritually enlightened mind nature provides much instruction. The seasons of the year are nature’s evangelists. Nature cannot enlighten the mind in the knowledge of God however. This requires an act of regeneration by the Holy Ghost. What nature may do is to reveal the wonderful power and wisdom of God to a mind enlightened by the Holy Ghost.
The Creator manages His Creation for the benefit of His creatures. A sight of this will bring forth songs of praise, verse 1.
Our text is found in the verse 14. The verse commences with a very humbling truth. God causes the grass to grow. Such a common things as grass is formed and brought forth by God. It is not the work of man. He may plant and water and fertilize but he cannot make it to grow. Happy is the man that learns the lesson of the grass. In seeing his own weakness and God’s greatness he is brought to a place where he may learn an even greater lesson — the way of salvation. My text is the final phrase of the verse.
“. . . .that he may bring forth food out of the earth.”

I. EVERY HARVEST REMINDS MAN OF HIS ORIGINS
He that is fed from the earth must have come from the earth. That is what the Bible teaches us regarding man. Gen 2:7.
1. Here is a truth that is fundamentally important. The origins of all things are set before us in the very first words of Holy Writ. How vital must be this truth if it is so presented to us. Man can never know himself or the purpose of his existence if he does not learn this truth.
2. Here is a truth man still rejects. Man refuses to accept the Genesis account of his origins and continues to seek to concoct a theory as to how he originated. 6000 years of searching have failed to produce an answer that can stand examination. Evolutionists claim to have found the answer but their view is so terribly flawed that they must constantly revise it in order to accommodate the contradictions and absurdities within their theory.
3. In rejecting this truth man rebels against his Creator. The rebellion we witness in society is a parallel to that in which man is engaged against the Lord. Children refuse the authority of their parents. Citizens refuse the authority of rulers. Men refuse the authority of God.

II. EVERY HARVEST REMINDS MAN OF HIS DEPENDENCE UPON GOD.
While man may refuse to acknowledge God he is nevertheless dependent upon Him. Man may have harnessed, in a very limited way, some of the powers of nature but he cannot control those powers. The hurricane, the flood, the drought and, above all, the growing of food testify to this fact.
1. God controls the harvest. He causeth the earth to bring forth.
The earth will obey only the Creator. His voice alone can cause the earth to respond and put in motion all the chemical and biological changes that are required to bring forth growth. Man may fertilise but few ever wonder how that it produces the effect that it does. But more than the earth is at work in the harvest. What of the sun and the rain? What of the creatures such as worms whose actions aerate the soil? There are even guardians set over the harvest in the form of tiny insects which feed upon others that would damage crops. Farmers in California have learned that their poison sprays were doing more harm than good in that they killed far more beneficial insects than harmful ones.
2. The earth produces all man requires. Even the synthetic materials are the product of the harvest of the earth. Nylon, Rayon, etc. are by-products of the forests that perished in the great flood. There is nothing that man uses that does not come from the earth.

III. EVERY HARVEST REMINDS MAN OF HIS DESTINY
He that lives off the earth must go the way of the earth. “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth,” Joshua 23:14.
1. Note the cycle of life. Spring, summer, harvest, winter. While all these seasons will come to us we do not know how long they will last. Some summers are long and some are short. We can swiftly move from summer to winter.
2. All the earth has a harvest. There is a harvest of the beneficial crops and of the weeds. Good men and evil men will face a reaping. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,” II Cor 5:10.

IV. EVERY HARVEST REMINDS MAN OF THE CROSS.
1. Christ the seed. Christ calls Himself the corn of wheat.  John 12:24. He was the divine seed that was planted for the food of the soul. He was sown by His Father’s hand for the feeding of the souls of men. John 6:35, 48, 51.
2. He was planted in death. John 12:24.
3. He was raised as a harvest. Food for the soul is to be found upon the cross. As the trees of the Garden of Eden provided for Adam and Eve, so the cross provides for us.
4. He is free to all who will partake. “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat,” Matt 12:1.
You walk amidst a gospel cornfield and have but to reach out and pluck the corn of life. May the Lord give you a hunger for Christ.

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