Ecc 11:1                                Send Forth Thy Bread                              6/10/2012     

 

 

#1.       Send Forth Thy Bread (Ecc 11:1, John 6:35,40,51,63, Rom 10:17)

 

 

 

 

#2.       For Thou Knowest Not What Evil Shall Come (Ecc 11:2, Acts 20:26-31)

 

 

 

#3.       Clouds Full of Rain (Ecc 11:3, Jude 4,12, Isa 55:10-11)

 

 

 

 

#4.       Now Is the Day of Salvation (Ecc 11:4, 1Cor 6:20, 2Cor 6:1-3)

 

 

 

#5.       We Know Not How the Spirit Moves (Ecc 11:5, Eph 2:8-9, John 3:8)

 

 

 

#6.       Sow Thy Seed Morning and Evening (Ecc 11:6, Matt 10:16, Acts 16:6-7, Isa 3:4)

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ecclesiastes, Ecc 11:1 (2X). What we read here in Ecc 11 is an intriguing set of parables. At first sight they seem to be a collection of independent parables. But when we take into consideration that this Book is the Bible and that Ecclesiastes has been written by the wisest man on earth at that time, we realize that this must be more coherent than a set of independent unconnected parables. In addition, since this is the Bible we should not think that these verses speak of common daily occurrences, but God must have intended for these parables to have a spiritual meaning. And so, when we read the first six verses we should aim to please God by asking Him to guide us through the interpretation. How does God guide us? He guides us by giving us information through other verses in the Bible, for if God wants to make us grow in the faith, He makes us read and study the Bible. We know this because God laid down a principle in Rom 10:17 which He applies to us frequently, and where He says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” And so, let us now prayerfully search for the one emphasis God has put in here:

You know, a parable is an earthly story with a spiritual meaning. When I am reading verses 1-6, I find here a whole series of parables, but all these parables have one common theme. Ecc 11:1-6,

Ecc 11:1-6, Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2  Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3  If the clouds be full of rain, they empty (themselves) upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5  As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 6  In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good

Is this not an intriguing set of parables? You know that this cannot be understood literally. If you literally cast your bread upon the waters, after many days it will either be moldy if it is good bread, or it will have totally dissolved if it happens to be the fluffy starch that is sold today for "white bread", or “Wonder Bread.” Therefore we must be looking for the spiritual meaning of this word “Bread.” Of course, everyone remembers that Christ is the “Bread of Life.” The Lord Jesus said in John 6:35,

John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Especially in this parable we have to let the New Testament explain what the Old Testament says. It is a true proverb in the English language, which says: The New is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed. The Bread refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. But what are the waters that God is talking about here? Please turn to the Gospel According to John, John 4:14. The Lord Jesus talked with a woman of Samaria, and He offered the Samaritan woman a drink of living water. He said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well in John 4:14, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The living water that Jesus referred to is the Gospel of salvation, which is poured like water upon the dry dessert of the human soul. If God wills, the words of this message of salvation will make this dry soul come to life, to inherit everlasting life, and this will be a person who will want to propagate the message of salvation, for this is pleasing to God. We read in the first line of this parable in Ecc 11:1,

#1.       Send Forth Thy Bread (Ecc 11:1, John 6:35,40,51,63, Rom 10:17)

Ecc 11:1 ¶ Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

Literally, however, the Hebrew text says it somewhat different. The first word "Cast" should not have been translated "Cast". Unmistakably this is the Hebrew word "Send", or "Send forth". In fact it is a command, because it is stated in the imperative mood. Secondly, there is a word left out in the KJV. It is the Hebrew word for "face". Therefore the command in Ecc 11:1 says literally: "Send forth thy Bread upon the face of the waters". What could this mean: "Send forth thy Bread upon the face of the waters"? We want to solve this puzzle. Therefore the title of this sermon is, “Send Forth Thy Bread” (2X). Well, since the Bread represents Christ, we are not the ones who can send Christ here or there. He sends us! But we can send forth the waters of the Gospel. Therefore, this is a command from God to us to send forth the Gospel; and thy Christ, the “Bread of Life,” must be seen upon the face of the waters that we send out. This does not refer to just any Christ, but to thy Christ who is the “Bread of Life,” as stated in John 6; He is the one who must be seen upon the face of the waters of the Gospel that we send out. Let us search for the spiritual meaning of this Bread of Life that we must send out. Please turn forward in the Gospel According to John to chapter 6, John 6:35 (2X). The Lord Jesus claimed here the title of being “The Bread of Life.” What did He mean by that? He said in John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” What we see here is that the “eating” of the Bread of Life is rephrased as “believing on Me.” Is that understandable? We already know for a long time that the Scriptures are our spiritual food. Just like our body needs daily food, so our soul needs to be fed every day the spiritual food and drink of the Word of God, so that our soul may also grow. Again, this is expressed in Rom 10:17, which says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” And so, it is quite understandable when the Lord Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life” that He was referring to the words in the Bible that have to do with Him and with His atonement for our sins. And so, if we delight to read those words, and we believe those words, then eating the Bread of Life does not mean physically eating the Lord Jesus flesh and drinking His blood, but it means “believing on Him,” like it is expressed in John 6:35. In fact, The Lord repeated this substitution in John 6:40. Please drop down to verse 40, John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The Lord Jesus went a step further in this metaphor. Please drop down to verse 51. John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Purposely the Lord Jesus went on to make this metaphor more complex, as if He would actually give His flesh for the life of the world. But He was referring to His atonement on the cross where He would indeed give His flesh for the life of the world, for Christ suffered on behalf of our atonement in His human nature, not in His Divine nature. In His Divine nature He was God the Son, and God the Son cannot die for the sins of mankind, and God the Son cannot suffer for sins as a scapegoat on the Day of Atonement, and God the Son cannot impute the guilt of our sins on His account, for He is God, and not man. If man has sinned then man must pay the penalty for that sin, and no other being can step in our place for our sins. But then, when the Lord Jesus had made this metaphor sufficiently complex so that it was only understood by those whom He intended to save, the Lord Jesus said in verse 63, (please drop down to verse 63) John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Now we can understand clearly that Jesus was not speaking of His physical flesh, but of the words of the parable that He began when He said, “I am the Bread of Life.” And can you now see that this is what God had in mind when He stated in Ecc 11:1, “Send Out Thy Bread.” This is the Bread of Life that we must send out.

What was God's promise in Ecc 11:1?

Ecc 11:1, Send forth thy bread upon the face of the waters: for thou shalt find it in many days.

The Hebrew text does not say "after many days", but "in many days". It does not take long to see the results of your witnessing, and you will see it for many days. Please turn in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 2:22. Peter preached one sermon, and about 3000 people became saved that same day, because the Lord Jesus Christ had bound Satan at the cross. What was the main content of Peter's sermon? Peter preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified. His Christ, the Bread of Life, was clearly seen upon the face of the waters that he sent out. Peter said in Acts 2:22-24,

  Acts 2:22-24, Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:  23  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  24  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

  First Peter introduces Jesus of Nazareth, and then He tells them that Jesus came, shedding His

blood to atone for the sins of many, and He did that by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. That is why He is called the Bread of Life, for whosoever believes on Him, whosoever believes that Christ has atoned for their sins, has spiritually already partaken of Him. And notice how the Omnitemporality of God shines through in Acts 2:23, for before time began God saw all at once that the Lord Jesus would be delivered to wicked hands and would be slain, but it came to pass by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. In other words, Peter said: "This Jesus of Nazareth, who is called Christ, the Anointed One, was delivered into your hands by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, and your wicked hands have delivered Him to the Romans, who have crucified and killed the Holy One of God. It was God's plan. It was the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God that planned this all along, and it was the providence of God that arranged this plan, but your wicked hands have carried out the evil deed of crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ. You are guilty of slapping God in the face". Peter did not say: "O, you poor people who are struggling with your frustrations in this life, God will help you out to lead a happier life on this planet earth". That is what you hear from many pulpits today. But Peter said: "You are guilty of taking this Jesus of Nazareth, and by wicked hands you have crucified and killed Christ the Lord. You are all guilty of this great sin against God." Now, think about that. Were all these people present when they cried out: "Crucify Him, crucify Him"? No, they were not. It was not the whole nation of the Jews who was around Pilate and demanding Jesus to be crucified. Only a small fraction of the nation of the Jews was there. But Peter said: "ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain the Lord of Glory". Were they all guilty? Yes! They were collectively guilty, just like the whole nation of Japan was guilty of bombing Pearl Harbor, and thus the whole nation of Japan had to suffer the consequences of the war with the United States. In fact, the whole world is guilty of this crime of crucifying the Lord of Glory. The representatives of all the Jews and the representatives of all the Gentiles, Pilate and Herod, were present, and all condemned Jesus to be crucified. We too were represented by Pilate and by Herod. We too are called to repentance. But only a small fraction of the world will repent of this crime, or of any crime against God. Only the remnant that was saved by grace, upon hearing the message of Christ crucified, will repent and turn to Christ. Please turn again to Ecc 11:1,

Ecc 11:1, Send forth thy bread upon the face of the waters: for thou shalt find it in many days.

#2.       For Thou Knowest Not What Evil Shall Come (Ecc 11:2, Acts 20:26-31)

Why does God say in verse 2, Ecc 11:2,  “Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.” "Give a portion" of the Gospel, does not imply that we should give only a small part of the Gospel. Perhaps you remember the word SYNECDOCHE, which I have mentioned before, and I have written on the board. This word means "a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole". When we read in the Bible: "Give a portion of the Gospel", that is a SYNECDOCHE, for we must always give the whole counsel of God, but we can only present a portion of the Bible. And then we read, "Give that portion to seven". Seven represents the perfect number. Bring the Gospel to the perfect number of the people of God, the elect of God. But we do not know who the elect of God are. Therefore, "give that portion also to eight". In other words, bring the Gospel to many more, so that you will include the seven, so that all the elect of God may come under the hearing of the Word of God. Many will hear with their physical ears, and will be amazed, but it will not affect them personally. The events of the cross of Christ do not touch them personally. But make sure that you bring the whole counsel of God "for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth".

Please turn again to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 20:26, where we see an example of this truth stated in Ecc 11:2. The Apostle Paul is speaking to the Elders of the Church at Ephesus. He says:

Acts 20:26  “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all (men).”

How can he say: "I am pure from the blood of all"? Before his conversion, he has persecuted the Church and dragged Christians in jail, and even killed some of them. Paul explains it in the next verse

Acts 20:27  “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” He is not guilty of telling them a half-truth. If you tell people of the love of God, but you don't tell them of the wrath of God, if you don't tell them that Hell is waiting for most of mankind, then you have told them only half the truth, which is equivalent to telling them a lie, so that they will still be damned. He continues in:

Act 20:28-31Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  31  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Bring the whole counsel of God, "for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth". There are many people there, standing at the foot of the cross, but all they do is scoff at the man hanging on the cross. They are standing there without feeling, without pity for Christ, without any guilt for what their leaders have done. Return to Ecc 11:3.

#3.       Clouds Full of Rain (Ecc 11:3, Jude 4,12, Isa 55:10-11)

Please turn back to Ecc 11:3. And there we read:

Ecc 11:3  If the clouds be full of rain, they empty (themselves) upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

Leave out the word "themselves". That was a suggestion from the translators. The clouds do not empty themselves; God makes them empty out where God decides to have the rain to fall. But what do the clouds represent here? The clouds represent people. To see that most clearly, please turn to the Letter of Jude. You find Jude just before Revelation, near the end of your Bible. Jude was the half-brother of Jesus. They had the same mother, but Jesus had a different Father. His Father was God. Jude was concerned about the same problems in the Church that the Apostle Paul was concerned about in Acts 20; false teachers. The Lord tells us through the pen of Jude in Jude 4,

Jude 1:4 “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” There are so many passages in the Word of God about false teachers IN the Church, and it is really surprising how few sermons are preached about this real threat to the life of the Church. God uses a number of metaphors here in Jude. For example, the Lord introduces here the metaphor of clouds. The Lord says in Jude 12, “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds (they are) without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth (2X), without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” Here the false teachers are called "clouds without water". Contrast this with the "clouds with water", which refer to people who are bringing the whole counsel of God in Ecc 11:3. What does the rain represent in Ecc 11:3? God gives a beautiful description of this metaphor "Rain" in Isa 55:10-11,

Isa 55:10-11, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  11,  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

And thus the rain represents an outpouring of the Gospel of salvation. Let us turn back to Ecc 11:3, which says: "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty upon the earth". In other words, "If the saints are filled with the knowledge of the Word of God, there will be an outpouring of the Gospel upon the earth, wherever the Lord directs them".

Ecc 11:3  If the clouds be full of rain, they empty (themselves) upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

What has the tree to do with anything? The metaphor of the tree again represents people. We have already seen that in Jude 12, where God calls the false teachers: "trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots". But also in the Old Testament God compares the saints with trees. God speaks about the saints in Psalm 1:3, and in many of the other psalms.

Psalm 1:3  “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Therefore, "If the tree falls", means: "If the body of a person dies". The tree may fall toward the South or toward the North. Only two directions are indicated. The North usually has the connotation of being wicked or Satanic. For example, the armies of Babylon came from the North.

Therefore, when God says in verse 3, Ecc 11:3,  "If the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be", God is indicating: "If a man dies saved or he dies unsaved, his destiny remains unchanged". There is no purgatory, and we cannot pray for the dead. When a person has died, his destiny is sealed. God says in Heb 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Therefore, it is so urgent for the clouds to rain the Gospel upon the earth. God uses the outpouring of the Gospel to save people who are under the hearing of the Gospel. God makes use of the principle that "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". We can say that in our time God is still bringing truth in the churches. Do not believe those who preach that the church is dead. They are false prophets. God did not send them. And God demonstrated that He did not send them by making their prophecies not come true.

#4.       Now Is the Day of Salvation (Ecc 11:4, 1Cor 6:20, 2Cor 6:1-3)

Ecc 11:4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

The Hebrew word for wind can also mean Spirit. Both the wind and the Spirit are invisible, but their effects can be seen. God the Holy Spirit provides us with many opportunities to sow the seed of the Gospel. But if we keep being amazed at how the Spirit moves, and we keep passing up many opportunities, still waiting for the right opportunity, then we are not sowing the seed of the Gospel.

Likewise, "he that regardeth the clouds" is a person who continues to look at those who are bringing the Gospel, and continues to be amazed at their knowledge and skill in the Word of God. But he himself feels inferior and unskilled in this business of witnessing for Christ, and keeps on studying. God is not pleased if we do not step forward and do not confess our allegiance to Christ. God's message to us here in Ecc 11:4 is this: "If you wait for the right time to witness, it will never happen". Do not step aside when there are obstacles, or when it is not convenient for your schedule. Christ appointed all of us, old and young people, to be ambassadors for Christ. When we have become aware that Christ purchased us, we should realize that He bought us for the purpose of fighting in His army. The Lord says in 1Cor 6:20,  “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. We can then say, with the Apostle Paul in 2Cor 6:1-3,

2Cor 6:1-3, “We then, as workers together (with him), beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored (helped) thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)  3  Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed:”

Paraphrased, the Apostle Paul is pleading with us as follows: “If you claim that you have received the grace of God unto salvation, let this claim not be in vain. If you have received the grace of God, then we are workers together.” To those then who are coworkers, God says: “I have heard you at a time that I chose to be an acceptable time, and in the day of your salvation I have helped you. Now it is time to fulfill your task as ambassador. Now it is time to sow the seed of the Word of God so that others might be saved. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. And do not cause the ministry to be blamed for any offensive behavior on your part.” Since the day that your soul has been regenerated you have been drafted into the army of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Therefore, wear your uniform to the honor of Him who lifted you up from the dunghill, and set you among princes, and made you an heir of the throne of glory. God says in Ecc 11:5,

#5.       We Know Not How the Spirit Moves (Ecc 11:5, Eph 2:8-9, John 3:8)

Ecc 11:5  As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

Our God, as He is described in the Bible, is an almighty and sovereign God and He also is an absolutely righteous Judge over all mankind. Our God will by no means clear the guilty without penalty. We expect Christ to be the Judge over Adolph Hitler and over Joseph Stalin and over Idi Amin, for we know that they died unsaved, and their sins were great. But what about your sins? If God is a righteous Judge, can He forget your sins? You see, how God deals with Adolph Hitler, and with Joseph Stalin, and with Idi Amin, does not affect your destiny. But God cannot forget your sins, and God cannot forget my sins, for He is a righteous Judge. Has He forgiven us our sins? How does God forgive sins? Does God do that by some hand-waving? No! God requires payment for sins, and so God forgives sins only through Atonement, either your Atonement in hell, or your Atonement done by a sinless person. And since we have God’s declaration about Atonement we know exactly how God forgives sins, and how God saves. We read in Eph 2:8-9 a summary of God’s declaration:

Eph 2:8-9, “8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” What is the gift of God? It is the gift of God that He has provided salvation by grace. And let us understand grace. Grace is unmerited favor, for God emphasizes in Eph 2:9 that salvation is “Not of our works!” And so, the gift of salvation is through the sinless Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, for there is no other person in the entire universe who is sinless, and it is through faith on Him that we receive Him as our Savior. The forgiveness of our sins is through the Atonement that Jesus Christ made, and the evidence that we have received this forgiveness of sins is through faith which the Lord gives those whom He intends to save.  Christ came to pay the penalty on the cross for those whom the Spirit of God chose to save. Therefore, "thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit", and leave it up to God whom He will save.

John 3:8, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” And so, we have to wait on the Spirit of God whom He wants to save, for if salvation is by grace then it is the Spirit of God who must exercise the choice God has made to save whom He will.

#6.       Sow Thy Seed Morning and Evening (Ecc 11:6, Matt 10:16, Acts 16:6-7, Isa 3:4)

Here is the final application of this parable.     God writes in Ecc 11:6 these words,

Ecc 11:6  “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”

Begin to sow the seed of the Word in the morning, and do not cease to take hold of opportunities to sow in the evening. That is the meaning of: "in the evening withhold not thine hand". Do not let your hand rest in the evening. Physical sowing is done with your hand. Spiritual sowing is done with your mouth. Sow the Word at all times. Keep sowing, for you know not which one shall prosper, either this which you sowed in the morning, or that which you sowed in the evening. Or if God wills both will be fruitful. Sowing the Word is urgent, because "night shall come when no one can work". This is a line of work for which we need much grace and wisdom from God. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 10:16,

Matt 10:16,  “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” This is not an activity that is easy, nor is it something that can be learned from a book. You have to learn by practicing it, and you must believe that what you say and do, even your fumbling, bears the approval of our sovereign and almighty God. God in His wisdom will use the foolishness of the preaching of the cross to save those for whom Christ has died. We have to be aware that God opens doors, and we don't have to kick them in. There is an example of that in Acts 16, when Paul and Silas were getting through the Western end of Asia Minor. God recorded for us in Acts 16:6-7, 6Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost (2X) to preach the word in Asia, 7  After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not” (2X).

The reason for God not opening these doors was that God the Holy Spirit directed them to go to Macedonia, and there they established a Church in Philippi. God will open doors where He wills. We just have to recognize it when God opens those doors, so that we use the opportune time.

We all have people we love to witness to. We all have family members who need to be saved. We all have family members who are in false gospels. Many times we decide: "I am going to talk to this person long enough until it finally sinks in", and we make an all-out effort as if it all depends on us. But consider what God says in the Bible: They are spiritually dead. They cannot hear. Only if it is God's will shall their ears be opened. Only if it is God's will shall He create an opportune time for us to sow the seed of the Gospel of Christ. A farmer does not sow the seed when there is ice and snow. Even in the earthly setting there is also a time for sowing, and a time that the seeds may grow, and a time that God provides rain and sunshine. We must learn to be faithful in what we have been called to do, and we must learn to leave it up to the Lord whether it shall prosper. What is our training ground? Where is our primary field of evangelism? It is in our homes! Teach your kids morning and evening.

That is the opportune time to train up a child in the way he should go. Our children should never leave the house in the morning without a Scripture verse that has been used as a devotion to accompany them during the day. You may have to get up earlier, and you may have to prepare their lunches in the evening, but you have to get your children prepared, for we know not what evil shall be upon the earth on that day. In the Bible God tells us what to do, and God promised that He will be faithful. God will bless our family if we follow His orders. The question is: Will we follow His orders? Do we really believe the awfulness of Hell, and do we really believe that the majority of the people with whom our children come in contact are emissaries of Satan? Can we train them so that our children will listen to our warnings, instead of we listening to their wining? Who is in charge in your house? Are the parents in charge and are the children submissive, or is your household described as prophesied in Isa 3:4, "And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them." Can we see that we need a great deal of grace and wisdom from God?

Ecc 11:6  In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Now that we have gone through this parable, are we really serious in following this up with action? When we say that we believe God's Word, but we are not willing to apply it to our daily lives, then either we are not willing to believe it, or we have not understood it. God knows our inner thoughts and the intent of our hearts, even before we have developed our thoughts, for God is Omnitemporal. God knows and sees the end from the beginning, all at once. Under the inspiration of God David wrote in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (2X).” Is this also our prayer? Do we dare to tell God our most inner thoughts? And do we really desire to have God lead us in the way everlasting? This may mean that we have to adopt a totally different lifestyle. For the young people (Hello, young people, are you awake?), for the young people, this may mean that we will have a different set of friends. This may mean that we set different goals in our life, and that we first of all do not try to please our friends, but that we first of all want to live a life that is pleasing to God. How about that young people? Is this what we pray for? We parents do not know how the Spirit moves, convincing men of sin. But we do know what it means to be obedient to God, and we do know that to love God means that we obey Him. The Lord Jesus said: If ye love Me, keep My commandments. But how does God create an obedient and loving heart? Does He first make us obedient and then He makes us love Him, or does God first makes us love Him and then we become obedient? I want you to think about this, and talk it over with your friends.

Amen.       Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.