Growing up on a farm, every spring we would prepare the ground, then sow seeds for a harvest of oats. Nearly every year seagulls followed behind the wagon, and would eat a good deal of the seed. As soon as we finished sowing the field, we would harrow the ground to cover the seed, but it always bothered me that we were losing too many seeds to the birds.
We have a parallel of this experience in our Lord’s parable of the sower in Matthew Chapter 13. The key elements are “a sower went forth to sow,” what was being sowed was “the word of the kingdom,” and “the wicked one…catcheth away that which was sown in his heart” (vs. 19). It will greatly help our understanding if we remember the context preceding this parable. The Lord Jesus had come offering eternal life in the Millennial Kingdom to Israel if she would follow Him by faith as her promised King and Messiah. Even though fulfilled prophecy, many miracles, and His powerful preaching authenticated our Lord’s ministry, most in Israel remained in unbelief. Verse 37 identifies the sower in this parable as “the Son of man,” the Lord Jesus Christ. What was being sown to Israel was “the word [offer or promise] of the kingdom” (vs. 19). “The wicked one” who caught away the seed (vs. 19), is identified as “the devil” (vss. 37-39). It is also noteworthy that there were human “children of the wicked one” seeking to turn others away from saving faith in the Savior.
While the circumstances surrounding this parable and its primary application deal directly with Israel, there are secondary applications for us today that we should not miss. Satan still seeks to steal away the seed of gospel truth when it is sown in the life of an unsaved soul. As he did with Israel, Satan attacks, either through evil men or his fallen angels, those who hear and may respond to our gospel of grace. Paul tells us “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ…should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:4). Knowing that Satan and his forces seek to thwart a lost soul coming to Christ when we share the gospel, we should be much in prayer, generously use God’s powerful, written Word, and follow up soon on those who have heard how to be saved, before Satan gobbles up the seeds of truth and conviction.
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