By Pastor Gary Beck | May 2, 2020
It is time. The weather is warming. Trees are blooming. It is time to finally get the yard and garden looking nice and prepared for productivity. There are enemies out there though. Busy schedules, weather, grass growing in the garden, the weeds growing everywhere, the expense of plants and supplies, the insects, the deer, and the plant diseases. How important is this goal, to make the garden and yard look nice? There are some important considerations to make. Am I willing to sacrifice time for the mission? Am I willing to sacrifice the rights of weeds to survive? Don’t insects have their own rights as well? Can I truly deny food to the birds, insects and deer when they insist on using my yard as a local eatery? Am I ready to make the choice to displace some plants to make room for the ones I prefer? Some people would argue for the natural look, that I should allow everything that wants to grow, to grow. That I should allow everything that wants to eat, to eat. What then happens to my choices and wishes? What happens to my duty to manage the earth? For me to have a productive garden, weeds must be sacrificed, grass contained, trees pruned, and unwelcome insects destroyed.
In Genesis, man was given the command, even before sin, to be a manager of all that grew. He was to manage the earth. After sin, the workload increased tremendously with the addition of weeds and reduction of productivity. Water was not a sure thing anymore. Man now needed to sweat, working the earth to produce his food. God wanted man to learn to make organization out of chaos, so that he could respect what had been granted to him. He needed to learn to make good choices and to depend on God.
When the Israelites were given the Promised Land, people were already living there. They had cities, houses, orchards, already developed farmlands, wells, flocks and herds. God declared that their cup of iniquity had reached the point of no return. They had lost the ability to come back to God through their dependence on idols and their love of sin. Like weeds, the inhabitants needed to be removed and replaced by a nation who would honor their creator.
Consider these words of Jesus in Luke 12:42-48: “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.
“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
Lord, help us all to be faithful managers.
Pastor Gary Beck