It is by God’s grace only
Mark 4:28 (AV)
For the earth¹ bringeth forth fruit of herself²;
first the blade, then the ear³,
after that the full⁴ corn⁵ in the ear³.
²) Moved by one’s own impulse, or acting without the instigation or intervention of another. Often used of the earth producing plants of itself, and of the plants themselves and the fruits growing without culture.
³) An ear of corn, or of growing grain.
⁴) Filled up (as opposed to empty).
⁵) Wheat, grain.
Mark.4.28 - The earth produces [acting] by itself - first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. [AMP] The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. [ESV] The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. [MSB] For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. [KJV] All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. [NIV] because the earth produces crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. [NLT] For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. [NKJV]
Some further information:
In the sense of soil or ground, the translation of the word adamah’.
In Genesis 9:20 “husbandman” is literally “man of the ground or earth.”
Altars were to be built of earth (Exodus 20:24)
Naaman asked for two mules’ burden of earth (2 Kings 5:17) under the superstitious notion that Yahweh, like the gods of the heathen, could be acceptably worshipped only on his own soil.
As the rendering of “erets”,
it means the whole world (Genesis 1:2);
the land as opposed to the sea (Genesis 1:10)
“Erets” also denotes a country (Genesis 21:32),
a plot of ground (Genesis 23:15),
the ground on which a man stands (Genesis 33:3),
the inhabitants of the earth (Genesis 6:1, 11:1)
all the world except Israel (2 Chronicles 13:9)
In the New Testament “the earth” denotes the land of Judea (Matthew 23:35)
also things carnal in contrast with things heavenly (John 3:31; Colossians 3:1,2).
A word as used in Scripture denoting produce in general, whether vegetable or animal. The Hebrews divided the fruits of the land into three classes:,
1. The fruit of the field, “corn–fruit” (Heb. dagan); all kinds of grain and pulse.
2. The fruit of the vine, “vintage–fruit” (Heb. tirosh); grapes, whether moist or dried.
3. “Orchard–fruits” (Heb. yitshar), as dates, figs, citrons, etc.
Injunctions concerning offerings and tithes were expressed by these Hebrew terms alone (Numbers 18:12; Deuteronomy 14:23)
This word “fruit” is also used of:
1. Children or offspring (Genesis 30:2; Deuteronomy 7:13; Luke 1:42; Psalms 21:10, 132:11)
2. The progeny of beasts (Deuteronomy 28:51; Isaiah 14:29)
It is used metaphorically in a variety of forms (Psalms 104:13; Proverbs 1:31, 11:30, 31:16; Isaiah 3:10, 10:12; Matthew 3:8, 21:41, 26:29; Hebrews 13:15; Romans 7:4,5, 15:28)
The fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23; Ephesians 5:9; James 3:17,18) are those gracious dispositions and habits which the Spirit produces in those in whom he dwells and works.
The word so rendered (dagan) in Genesis 27:28,37; Numbers 18:27; Deuteronomy 28:51; and Lamentations 2:12 is a general term representing all the commodities we usually describe by the words corn, grain, seeds, peas, beans. With this corresponds the use of the word in John 12:24; Genesis 41:35,49; Proverbs 11:26.
In Joel 2:24 (“wheat”), the word thus translated (bar; i.e., “winnowed”) means corn purified from chaff. With this corresponds the use of the word in the New Testament (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17; Acts 7:12)
In Psalms 65:13 it means “growing corn.”
In Genesis 42:1,2,19; Joshua 9:14; and Nehemiah 10:31 (“victuals”), the word (sheber; i.e., “broken,” i.e., grist) denotes generally victuals, provisions, and corn as a principal article of food.
From the time of Solomon, corn began to be exported from Palestine Ezekiel 27:17; Amos 8:5 “Plenty of corn” was a part of Issac’s blessing conferred upon Jacob (Genesis 27:28 compare (Psalms 65:13)
Now let us reflect on this
Whoever sows wants to see fruit. We wait anxiously for the seed to emerge. Sometimes we tend to check here and there to see if the seed is sprouting. However, that hurts turnout. We have to wait and trust.
Did you learn that too? Were you involved as a sower in the Kingdom of Heaven? Just spread the Word and leave the emergence to the Lord.
He will give His blessing on it.
The earth produces fruit by itself, it seems automatic.
That’s God’s secret, a sign of the power of His Spirit and Word.
You may have confidence in that by faith. Put it in God’s hand and you will be amazed at the outcome. His Word never returns empty.
We fall out of that with all our effort, because it’s His wonderful work.
Becoming saved is either automatic or not at all.
If we humans even want to do something about it, it will not work.
However, when we let the Lord work, it goes without saying.
In that sense, our human hearts are like a field.
When that field is plowed, a farmer scatters the seed, but he cannot grow that seed. If it is a God-fearing farmer, he will ask the Lord to make it grow. And as it is in the realm of nature, so it is in the realm of grace.
Salvation is a one-sided work of God.
Nothing, nothing at all from the human being is added to this.
It is only the work of the Lord.
But when the Lord works, no one can turn it around. How hostile, how wicked one may be, but the Lord continues to work. He removes all resistance and on the day when His power becomes visible there is a willing people in which the seed of the Gospel grows.
A people that will automatically produce fruit.
May we belong to this people!
The scattered seed that comes up has a certain growth habit. The man who sowed the seed has done his job: he is going to rest. He sleeps and wakes, gets up and goes to bed, and the seed germinates and grows, and the man himself doesn’t know how. But he sees it. He will, of course, look at it regularly. And then he first sees the delicate green spread over the land like a haze.
The principles of the life of grace. You have to pause for a while. If you walk too fast and never even bend down to the earth, you will not see it. Joy is there when it is seen. And then comes the ear. That’s why it is. Will there be fruit from this crop. But it is going to form. The spike is there. And then the fruit in the ear. That is the life that is glorifying God.
Namely, to live as a poor sinner out of the grace that is in Christ. Nothing from us, but everything from Him … That is being emptied of ourselves to find life in Christ.
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