Congregation Beth Simcha of Lufkin
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Erev Rosh Hashanah
Sowing In Tears, Reaping in Joy
שֵׁ֤שׁ שָׁנִים֙ תִּזְרַ֣ע שָׂדֶ֔ךָ וְשֵׁ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים תִּזְמֹ֣ר כַּרְמֶ֑ךָ וְאָסַפְתָּ֖ אֶת־תְּבוּאָתָֽהּ׃
Six years you may sow your field and six years you may prune your vineyard and gather in the yield.
Verse 3 on the simple level is about farming. However, we know that God's Word is always beyond a simple meaning. Notice that the word for sow( תִּזְרַ֣ע--tizrah) is related to the word for prune (תִּזְמֹ֣ר-tizmor). Sowing and pruning are done for six years. There is something wonderful locked up in the Hebrew here. I'll illustrate it shortly.
הִנֵּה אֵל יְשׁוּעָתִי אֶבְטַח, וְלֹא אֶפְחָד: כִּי-עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ יְהוָה, וַיְהִי-לִי לִישׁוּעָה.
וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם-מַיִם, בְּשָׂשׂוֹן, מִמַּעַיְנֵי, הַיְשׁוּעָה.
2 Behold, God is my salvation! I will trust and will not be afraid. For the Lord ADONAI is my strength
and my song. He also has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
We all know the word ( יְשׁוּעָ--yeshua) is salvation (also God saves), and we see it twice here. But notice that the word song is the same base word (זִמְרָ zamar--song) as prune (תִּזְמֹ֣ר-tizmor)!
Pruning vines is necessary for growth and producing more and better fruit because it strengthens the plant and makes it healthier. Yeshua spoke of this in Yochanan (John) 15.
“I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Every branch which is part of me but fails to bear fruit, he cuts off; and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, so that it may bear more fruit. 3 Right now, because of the word which I have spoken to you, you are pruned. 4 Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.
Kingdom living, contrary to modern ecclesiastical theology, is not without pain. God "prunes" תִּזְמֹ֣ר our lives, and it hurts. But the word for pruning, זִמְרָ zamar, also means song! While undergoing such a painful process for our own good, we must sing for joy!
It is for our health and training that we produce more fruit for Israel and the Body of Messiah as we also scatter seeds to see new life in the Kingdom.
5 Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping as he carries his sack of seed will come home with cries of joy as he carries his sheaves of grain!
One last thing about verse 3: six years of sowing and pruning, and the 7th year, a harvest that God Himself provides. Isaiah wrote that God knows the end from the beginning, so let's go to the beginning.
בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ
You will see the letter alef א six times in Genesis 1:1. The alef has a numeric value of 1, but also of 1000. Six days of creation, and the 7th day of rest. As David said, "A day to the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day". We are, by that reckoning, in the sixth day. It's still time to sow, be pruned, and produce fruit for the Kingdom. And though the pruning is painful, and there is no redemption without pain, let us lift our voices in praise knowing that our King, our Zamar who is our strength and our song, will not leave us or forsake us. And together, we'll all one day sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb.
Parashat Tazria: Leviticus 12:1-13:59
The Burn of False Doctrine