Dear Jacob – You Reap What You Sow.

jacobGenesis 31:4-7 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, (5) And said unto them… (7) And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.

In reading once again the life of Jacob, I am reminded that God has established an unswerving law in both the natural and spiritual realms – the law of the harvest, or the law of sowing and reaping. The unbelieving world calls it karma – what goes around comes around. Paul described the true nature of this unchanging law:

Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

The law of the harvest has three aspects:

  1. We reap what we sow. The law is the same whether we sow good seed or bad. If you want a good harvest, sow good seed; if you sow bad seed, don’t be surprised when a bad harvest comes up!
  2. We always reap later than we sow. It takes time for the harvest to grow.
  3. We always reap more than we sow. Jesus told us that one seed could return thirty-fold, or sixty-fold, or a hundred-fold (Mt. 13:23).

In Jacob’s early life, he was a deceiver, a trickster. His twin brother Esau was carnal and worldly, but seems to have at least been upfront in his actions, bad as they were. Jacob, though, was not above stooping to take advantage of situations (like selling a bowl of soup for the birthright instead of simply feeding his brother – how many of us would charge our relatives for a bowl of soup if they were hungry?) or lying and deceiving his father to steal a blessing.

In Genesis 27, it is a sad story. Instigated by his mother (it was her manipulative plan from beginning to end), Jacob dressed up in goat skins and did his best to sound like Esau, and lied to his father, even bringing the Lord’s name into his deception (vs. 20). In the end, Jacob and Rebekah got what they wanted – but at a great price. Esau hated his brother, and Jacob followed his mother’s advice once again to leave town. Her plan was for him to be gone “for a few days” – but those few days turned into twenty years! Incidentally, she never saw her favorite son again – she died while he was out of the country.

Jacob “lit a shuck” for Haran to find a bride. What he found was a harvest. He had deceived his father; in turn, he was deceived by his uncle, Laban. He was deceived by Leah, who gladly took her sister’s place at the wedding. He was deceived in his wages.

Even though Jacob later GOT RIGHT WITH GOD AND RETURNED TO BETHEL, he continued to reap from his decisions. He returned home with three wives too many and kids who were worldly and heathenish in their behavior. His life was a soap opera. Years later, the deceiver was deceived by 10 of his sons, who told him that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts. Old Jacob sadly holding the rent coat of many colors, soaked in goat’s blood, reminds us of Old Isaac, touching the goat skin costume of his deceptive son.

There does not seem to be a statute of limitations on the law of sowing and reaping. We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow. Sometimes, what we think is a “trial or tribulation” may just be a little bit of harvest coming up from bad decisions, maybe from years ago. What we call hardship may actually be the compounding interest of things that we have done to others – the seed we sowed to the flesh.

If you sowed sin, you will reap a sinful harvest. If you have sown heartache, you will reap heartache. If you have sown strife, you will reap strife. If you have sown jealousy, deception, gossip, division – you will reap the same. Somewhere. Somehow.

The positive side to the law of sowing and reaping is that if we sow to the Spirit, we can see a good harvest, even years and decades later! But, oh, how we need to be careful in the bad seed that we sow.

Thank you for reading. God bless.

About James Rasbeary

I am the pastor of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas. Check out my blog at
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3 Responses to Dear Jacob – You Reap What You Sow.

  1. Deb says:

    You can reap what someone else has sown. I am reaping now in my children what my husband has sown and I am physically and emotionally suffering because of my husband’s decisions.
    Too late now for divorce. I am too ill to do anything about it now.

  2. Carl D. Green says:

    Sobering message my brother! May all of us who read it, heed it!!!

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