Hooray For Fall (Or Is It Autumn?)
The seasons of the earth are God’s idea. Genesis 8:22 declares, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” God has a plan and a purpose for each season.
I live in New England, and here we are blessed with four very distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Actually, Fall is the only season with two names. In Great Britain and Europe the season is referred to as Autumn, which comes from the Latin autumnus, indicating the passing of the year. However, in North America it is generally referred to as Fall, a term first coined by British settlers. No one is certain of the reason (perhaps they were attempting to purge all things English?)
The Season Of Harvest
At any rate, Fall is known as the season of harvest, the time when the last of the fruits and vegetables are gathered. In Bible days the harvest was important for survival. Actually, in Israel there are three harvest “seasons,” and three of the Jewish feasts correspond to them. The Feast of the Passover occurs in April at the end of the barley harvest. The Feast of Pentecost occurs seven weeks later at the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Tabernacles is in October at the culmination of the fruit harvest.
There were many Jewish laws associated with the harvest. The most important was that all first-fruits belonged to the Lord: “The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them, “When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath’ ” (Leviticus 23:9-11).
A second harvest law offered provision for the poor: “When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:22). Leviticus 24:21 adds that they are to do this “in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
A Season of Change
Nowadays we don’t spend much time thinking of harvest (unless you’re a farmer, of course). For most of us, Fall is a season of change. Summer ends, it’s back-to-school time, and schedules are altered. In New England, Daylight Savings Time will soon be ending, as the temperatures begin to drop. Then the leaves begin their annual change to glorious hues of red, yellow, and brown.
There are also the many traditions specific to the season: apple picking and apple cider, pumpkins and pumpkin spice, country fairs and festivals, and Fall decor with hay bales and cornstalks and scarecrows. So many sights, smells, and tastes to enjoy!
But there is also a spiritual side to the season. Fellow blogger Alexis Carucci writes, “Harvest is a time we’ve all been waiting for. It is a time to reap what we have planted, tended, and believed for…Yet, as believers, we often focus on sowing seed but have forgotten to apply our faith to reaping the harvest. God has promised to multiply our seed and give us an abundant harvest.” (https://alexiscarucci.com/2021/11/03/harvest-time-is-here)
Lord Of The Harvest
Fall is a time to acknowledge the Lord of the harvest. I love what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” What a wonderful promise!
Did you know that God wants you to have a harvest in your life? Faithfulness is the key, as Galatians 6:9 explains: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Jesus Himself spoke often of a harvest, but He wasn’t referring to grain or fruits or vegetables. He spoke of those He came to save. “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field’ “ (Matthew 9:37-38).
Are you praying for this harvest? Are you willing to be one of His workers? May this Fall indeed be a season of blessings and great harvest for you!
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“Spring: The Season of New Beginnings” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/spring-the-season-of-new-beginnings
“Summer: The Season of Refreshing” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/summer-the-season-of-refreshing
“Savor the Season You’re In” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/savor-the-season-you’re-in