6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIV)
Here the apostle Paul was receiving a special offering from the Corinthian church to be given to the suffering church at Macedonia. This was not the weekly collection of tithes, it was a special offering that involved significant sacrifice.
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, begins by stating the most basic law of giving: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (v.6). This promise is to show us the reward of giving.
All farmers understand planting and harvest, and we should learn to understand God’s law of sowing and reaping. After a harvest (in Bible times), before the farmer would use any of the grain as food for his family or livestock, he would first go through the harvest grain and pick out a percentage that exhibited the best qualities of size, weight, color, and set this aside as seed for the next season’s crop planting. This early form of genetic selection helped assure that the next generation of crops would produce higher yields and greater quality.
This is the analogy that the Bible is using in describing our financial giving – if we plant only a few seed in the ground the harvest will be lean, but if we plant an abundance of seed in the ground the harvest will be bountiful. This is the principle of the seed when it comes to our generosity to the work of God.
- Life begets life
- Planting begets a harvest
- Giving begets reward