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Summary: The Harvest Home is a grand celebration. The expression is not found in the bible, but the principle is.

THE HARVEST HOME

I Introduction - The expression is not found in the Bible but the event is. From the earliest times, the earth's harvest has been received with gladness and celebration. Observance of the Feasts of the Harvest and the Ingathering were commanded (Exodus 23:16).

1. Feast of the Harvest (also called Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, because it was celebrated 7 full weeks and a day after the morning following the Passover). The Feast of Harvest celebrated the offering of the first loaves made from the new grain were offered on the altar.

2. Feast of Ingathering (also called Feast of Tabernacles, because the Israelites lived in booths, or tents during the celebration. It celebrated the completion of the harvest of the fruits of the earth.

II The Harvest

A The keeping of these feasts was not a dreary duty which was done to be in compliance with the law of Moses. It was a celebration--a festival. Gladness is natural to those for whom the harvest portends a winter with ample provisions. In early societies, "The Harvest Home" was the festive celebration of families and towns at the end of the harvest. "The Harvest Home" also described a song that was sung to celebrate the occasion. In the spiritual sense, the Harvest Home is the celebration of the final ingathering of the saved of the earth.

B Adam was the first to raise a crop for his own food.

Gen 3:23 (NIV) So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

C Harvesting the earth’s produce is perpetual while the earth stands.

Gen 8:22 (NIV) "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

(What a marvelous promise! How can unbelievers dismiss the evidence of God's existence and power He demonstrates by sustaining man?) His promise has not failed.

D Sacrifice was offered before the harvest was used

Lev 23:10-14 - Recognizing and honoring the giver of the harvest.

E Some of the crop was left for sharing with gleaners.

Lev 23:22 (NIV) "'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'"

The reaping of the harvest was one important way of underscoring the principle God has always wanted his people to live by: let him who has, give to him who has not.

III People

In the New Testament, the process of sowing, tending, and harvesting describes the actions and conditions of people. People are described as:

A Sowers (John 4:35-38) - Jesus: "one sows and another reaps" There is no cause for contention among those who do one part of the work, and those who do another. They will share the harvest.

B Waterers (1 Corinthians 3:6) - Paul: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."

C Reapers (Matthew 9:37-38) - Jesus: "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest"

C The field or ground (1 Corinthians 3:9) - Paul: "We are God's fellow workers; you are God's field..."

D The crop (Matthew 13:24-30,36-43) Parable of the tares

IV The seed (God provides it, along with the harvest. It must be sown to reap the next harvest)

Luke 8:4-15 - the parable of the sower - some seed fell along the path, some on stony ground, some among thorns, and some on good ground.

The seed is the word of God (v11). Though we tend to place a lot of emphasis on man's part in sowing, tending, and harvesting, only God provides the seed that has life in it. Any other seed is worthless, and will not produce a harvest. God's word, though it may seem to be losing against the tide of worldliness and erroneous teaching, is not failing to accomplish its purpose. Isaiah wrote "So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) His word does not fail; the harvest has been promised and will surely come.

V The spiritual significance of the Harvest Home is the ingathering of the saved.

1 Th 4:1317 - describes Jesus coming to claim his own.

1 Cor 15:2023 - Christ the firstfruits, then those who will be made alive at his coming.

VI Those excluded from the Harvest Home

A The story is not complete without noting that not everyone will participate with gladness in the occasion. Jeremiah, lamenting for the impenitent Jerusalem, cried, "Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 8:20)

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