The Need for Seed

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God (1 Peter 1:22–23, ESV).

Remember in Jeremiah 23:29? God’s Word says, “Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Scripture actually compares itself to a hammer, and I’ve seen it function exactly as such—swiftly and heavily persuasive in the lives of hardhearted people. So the hammer metaphor is easy for me to understand.

But not every picture of the Bible’s strength is so obviously powerful and as fast acting as a hammer. At times its strength is portrayed by an image of something small and gentle.

Like when Scripture is compared to a seed.

The Word of God is “seed.”

Peter spoke of it in terms of the Word  “not of perishable seed but of imperishable.” Seed also seemed to be Jesus’ favorite analogy for the Word, most notably in His parable of the sower found in Matthew 13 as well as other Gospel locations. In Luke’s account, He plainly said, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

But why a seed when a hammer will do?

It’s because a seed, though small, can do something uniquely powerful over time.

What happens after you plant a seed? You water. You watch. You wait. You don’t start kicking at the soil two weeks later to see how the seed you put down there is doing. That would ruin everything. You leave it alone. Water, watch, wait. This is God’s work now. He alone can bring forth a harvest from the seed. It takes time, and takes our patience, but He will make it produce its food, its fruit, or its flower when the moment is right.

The seed is all you need.

Maybe you’ve tried the hammer of God’s Word on someone, and it hasn’t been working very well. You’ve become frustrated with a person you love dearly who’s not responding at all, and you wonder how it’s ever going to change.

It’s easy to forget that a person without Christ (as all of us once were) is “dead” in their “trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Not just blind or deaf, but dead!

Would you slap a blind person to get them to see? Would you slap a deaf person to get them to hear? Why do it then to a dead person, thinking it will bring them to life? You can’t change that. Only God can change that, while you wait.

And when He does, though nothing has seemed to be happening for a long, long time, their testimony will be the same as each of ours—notice how God, in Ephesians 2:5 says, “even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ”  God gives faith as a gift, and then His Word—like a seed in the garden—brings something dead to life.

Yes, the Word is a hammer. It can break a rock. It can get hold of you without your permission, before you ever saw it coming. But I am blown away that the Bible can also show its strength by bringing beautiful things to fruition that you’ve prayed for, watched for, and waited for. That’s the power of a seed. And that’s the power of God’s Word. The seed can grow into something mighty.

In His Grip Mark