Summary: We co-exist with evil people in the world because God is the only one who rightly judges people... God alone sees all of a person's life. And who knows... do we not believe that people can repent and become new creatures in Christ?
Title: Living with Weeds
Text: Matthew 1`3:24-30 and 36-43
Thesis: We co-exist with evil in the world because God is the only one who rightly judges people… God alone sees all of a person’s life. And besides, who knows….?
Weeds is a made for television comedy whose central character is Nancy Botwin. Nancy Botwin is a widowed mother of two boys who begins selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies. Over the course of the show she and her family become more and more entangled in illegal activities on an escalating scale. The family moves from the LA metro area to beachside San Diego/Tijuana to Seattle, WA and Dearborn, MI. In between seasons six and seven Nancy serves a prison sentence in Danbury Prison in Connecticut while her sons live in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It is a twisted and convoluted story whose title may be code for marijuana but probably more likely refers to the characters who, like weeds, are hardy plants struggling to survive. In Weeds the “weeds” have a moral code that is generally against the norms of society. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weeds_(TV_series)
We live in a world of “Weeds.”
When I was growing up in Iowa we did not have a television but we did have weeds.
We had the dreaded Canadian Thistle, Ragweed, the cocklebur, wild sunflowers, burdocks and shattercane weeds to name a few. Weeds were the enemy. We hoed them. We pulled them. We chopped them. We sprayed them. We cultivated, under-cut, rod-weeded and disked them. Weeds are a threat to every crop grower because weeds tend to overgrow and can choke out more desirable plants. And I don’t care how deceptively pretty a flowering Canadian Thistle may appear, it left unchecked it will take over a pasture.
Over the years I have come to understand that if a plant is growing where it is not supposed to be growing, it is a weed. A beautiful stalk of corn growing in the middle of a soybean field is a weed. So the human instinct being the desire to be rid of weeds… a farmer will walk an entire bean filed to chop out perfectly good stalks of corn that have sprung up – and not without good reason. Sometimes in crop rotations a field may be planted to corn one year and then the following year may be planted to beans. If the harvester missed an ear of corn and it is tilled into the soil it may sprout and grow the following year as corn plants out of place in a soy bean field.
Jack Dekker is an agronomist with Iowa State University who has written and interesting book, The Evolution and Ecology of Weeds. In the unit about the nature of weeds he wrote, “Weeds are defined as a plant out of place, thriving in habitats disturbed by humans, possessing competitive behavior, and capable of mass movement from one area to another.” (Jack Dekker, Evolutionary Ecology of Weeds, P. 14)
Weeds are the enemy. Remember that as part of the curse following the fall of Adam and Eve was that the ground would be cursed and it would produce thorns and thistles. Genesis 3:18
In our story today someone has deliberately sowed weed seed in a field newly sown with wheat seed. The point of the story is that God has sown the good seed in the world and the enemy, the devil, has sown weed seed or bad seed in the world. So we have the image of God walking back and forth across the earth scattering good people and good influences and then that night the devil walks back and forth across the same earth scattering bad people and bad influences so that the good and the bad sprout up and grow in the same field.
So here are the questions, given the reality that the devil has sown evil among the good that God has sown:
1. Do we co-exist with evil?
2. How do we co-exist with evil?
3. Why should we co-exist with evil?
Our text begins by instructing us to understand that God’s intent is for good and godly people to flourish and be of influence in the world.
I. God’s intent for the world is good.
Jesus told them this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.” Matthew 13:24
Jesus explains, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom.” Matthew 13:37-38 The good seed then stands for Christians or the followers of Christ or the children of God or believers.
The seed the sower sowed was what we call Certified Seed. It was clean wheat. There was no foreign material or plant trash or weed seed mixed in with the wheat seed. God does not sow anything but good. Good intentions. Good people. Good influences.