Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 6: Other Lessons from Seed-Sowing
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From the work of seed sowing and the growth of the
plant from the seed, precious lessons may be taught
in the family and the school. Let the children and youth
learn to recognize in natural things the working of divine
agencies, and they will be enabled to grasp by faith unseen
benefits. As they come to understand the wonderful work
of God in supplying the wants of His great family, and
how we are to co-operate with Him, they will have more
faith in God, and will realize more of His power in their
own daily life.
God created the seed, as He created the earth, by His
word. By His word He gave it power to grow and
multiply. He said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the
herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after
his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was
so. . . : And God saw that it was good." Gen. 1:11, 12.
It is that word which still causes the seed to grow. Every [p. 81] seed that sends up its green blade to the sunlight declares
the wonder-working power of that word uttered by Him
who "spake, and it was"; who "commanded, and it stood
fast." Ps. 33:9.
Christ taught His disciples to pray "Give us this day
our daily bread." And pointing to the flowers He gave
them the assurance, "If God so clothe the grass of the
field, . . . shall He not much more clothe you?" Matt. 6:11,
30. Christ is constantly working to answer this prayer, and
to make good this assurance. There is an invisible power
constantly at work as man's servant to feed and to clothe
him. Many agencies our Lord employs to make the seed,
apparently thrown away, a living plant. And He supplies
in due proportion all that is required to perfect the harvest.
In the beautiful words of the psalmist:
"Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it;|
Thou greatly enrichest it;
The river of God is full of water;
Thou providest them corn when Thou hast so prepared
Thou waterest her furrows abundantly;
Thou settlest the ridges thereof;
Thou makest it soft with showers;
Thou blessest the springing thereof.
Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness;
And Thy paths drop fatness."
Ps. 65:9-11, R.V.
The material world is under God's control. The laws
of nature are obeyed by nature. Everything speaks and
acts the will of the Creator. Cloud and sunshine, dew
and rain, wind and storm, all are under the supervision of
God, and yield implicit obedience to His command. It is
in obedience to the law of God that the spire of grain bursts
through the ground, "first the blade, then the ear, after that
the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28. These the Lord [p. 82] develops in their proper season because they do not resist His
working. And can it be that man, made in the image of
God, endowed with reason and speech, shall alone be
unappreciative of His gifts and disobedient to His will?
Shall rational beings alone cause confusion in our world?
In everything that tends to the sustenance of man is
seen the concurrence of divine and human effort. There
can be no reaping unless the human hand acts its part in
the sowing of the seed. But without the agencies which
God provides in giving sunshine and showers, dew and
clouds, there would be no increase. Thus it is in every
business pursuit, in every department of study and science.
Thus it is in spiritual things, in the formation of the
character, and in every line of Christian work. We have a part
to act, but we must have the power of divinity to unite with
us, or our efforts will be in vain.
Whenever man accomplishes anything, whether in
spiritual or in temporal lines, he should bear in mind that he
does it through co-operation with his Maker. There is
great necessity for us to realize our dependence on God.
Too much confidence is placed in man, too much reliance
on human inventions. There is too little confidence in the
power which God stands ready to give. "We are laborers
together with God." 1 Cor. 3:9. Immeasurably inferior
is the part which the human agent sustains; but if he is
linked with the divinity of Christ, he can do all things
through the strength that Christ imparts.
The gradual development of the plant from the seed is
an object lesson in child training. There is "first the blade,
then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." He who [p. 83] gave this parable created the tiny seed, gave it its vital
properties, and ordained the laws that govern its growth.
And the truths which the parable teaches were made a
living reality in His own life. In both His physical and
His spiritual nature He followed the divine order of growth
illustrated by the plant, as He wishes all youth to do.
Although He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of
glory, He became a babe in Bethlehem, and for a time
represented the helpless infant in its mother's care. In
childhood He did the works of an obedient child. He spoke
and acted with the wisdom of a child and not of a man,
honoring His parents and carrying out their wishes in
helpful ways, according to the ability of a child. But at
each stage of His development He was perfect, with the
simple, natural grace of a sinless life. The sacred record
says of His childhood, "The child grew, and waxed strong
in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was
upon Him." And of His youth it is recorded, "Jesus
increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and
man." Luke 2:40, 52.
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