For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. James 1:11
Every endeavor ever accomplished took some effort to prepare before the actual deed could be performed. For the most part, preparing the soil is a major concern and part of planting seed. After the ground has been prepared, planting is the process of putting seed into the ground with an expectation that a plant will sprout and mature producing the fruit desired. Harvesting is the final process after the growing season is over and the fruit is ready for picking.
As human beings we look at the space we have available to us and consider what we can expect from our effort. We also consider the availability of sunlight, access to water and kind of fertilizer needed to promote growth. When the plan is complete we gather the tools and begin to prepare the soil by turning it over to loosen the soil so it can take in air and water the plants need. Then we plant everything in an orderly fashion so the farmer can nurture and cultivate the plants during the growing season. When the effort of planting is complete, did we ever consider that we are using the earth and seed God provided? Is it possible that God went through a similar process in the creation of the earth before creating Adam and Eve?
Planting begins with a plan to determine what the plant needs and what we need to do. Then we buy the seed fertilizer and the tools we need to plant. After we tear the soil up, remove the weeds and expose dirt to the sun we mark out the rows. From this experience we can understand that there is a considerable amount of work to do before we can plant our seed.
The work to plant and harvest a crop may help us to understand God and the plan he has for man. However it may be humbling to understand that the man God created as the fruit of the earth. Man was expected to multiply and fill the world with the fruit intended to be harvested when Jesus comes for his elect. He will put the fruit of his labor in his barn and burn the fruit that spoiled on the vine along with the weeds.
When God created the heavens and the earth, he prepared the earth to receive the seed he intended to harvest. The first thing God reveals about the heavens and earth is that the spirit of God is seen hovering over the deep telling man that the earth was formed out of water. (See 2 Peter 3:5) Then God created light to illuminate the surface of the earth and then separated the land from the water and the air we breathe. The soil God created began to produce vegetation with seed according to its own kind. The earth, sea and air were filled with living creatures each producing seed after its own kind. Oxygen, water, and light are what scientist consider as basic elements for life to exist were part of creation.
God prepared the earth five days prior to creating man with a place to live. Everything God created to this point was done to support growth of human life that would produce the fruit God wanted. However, to see the fruit God wanted we must look at the fruit God will harvest at the end of the growing season. At that time, God will send his angles to gather every human being to appear before him.
The harvest is normally thought of as the process of gathering the fruit and grading it for quality. For the farmer, the most important part of the harvest is sorting the fruit for your own use. In this process the weeds are removed, spoiled fruit is thrown away and the fruit worthy of being preserved are prepared for storage. It is a long tedious process but in the long run the effort to grow the fruit is not wasted.
From Godís perspective the fruit of the earth will be gathered from the seed he planted in the Garden of Eden. While it may be hard to understand that intelligent men could be fruit of the earth, the earth was created to produce everything man needed to exist. The kingdom of God is the barn that he wants to fill with the best fruit from his garden. (See Matthew 13:37-43)
When God gathers the fruit of the earth his angels will be the harvesters that gather the fruit of the earth and take the fruit of the earth before the good shepherd who will sort the sheep from the goats and the good from the bad.
This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous. Matthew 13:49
However between the planting season and the harvest other work needed to produce the fruit God wants. The growing season demands the removal of anything that robs the plant of sunlight and available nutrients. These weeds take the water and fertilizer from the soil without producing the fruit the gardener desires. The gardened keeps his eye on the plant during the growing season to ensure proper growth and prunes the vines so the plant will produce better fruit.
We learn that as fruit of the earth was contaminated with seed from Godís enemy and need the help of the gardened (God) to become fruit worthy of keeping. God created a perfect environment where man could mature into a living being like him. Because of the efforts of Godís enemy sin was found that blemished the fruit and made some of the fruit inedible and not fit for its intended use.
Man is an animated fruit that is able toaccept or reject the help God is willing to give. Just as we are able to separate the bad portions of fruit to eat the good, God is able to remove the blemishes that spoil the fruit he wants. Ultimately God has given us a choice to be the fruit that God is willing to accept.