Post 100 / The Next Language
July 26, 2022
First the Blade
I have said that the single most important component of successful organic farming and also hunting is timing. Sometime in May on the carrot farm in Alaska you could find me on my knees in the carrot field scraping the top of the soil with a knife to intercept the first shoots of emerging carrots. The strategy in organic practices was to time the flaming of the noxious weeds just before the carrots came out. A couple of hours too late and the carrots are also out and get killed. A couple of hours too early and you miss a lot of the newly sprouting weeds.
A more daring timing event was the method of grizzly bear hunting practiced by only the most valiant of the Dene warriors. After tracking and studying a grizzly spore they would carefully prepare a very stout spear tailored to be the right length for the targeted bear (usually only 3 or 4 feet in length). They would then challenge the bear to provoke an attack — preferably on the terrain of their choosing. They knew that a fully challenged bear will charge and then rise and come crashing down on the victim. The crouching warrior has then, prior to the bear coming down, to plant the spear in the ground and control it until it enters the heart of the falling bear and then get out of there before the bear hits the ground. Those are some split seconds that are very consequential. I read of one such warrior who had done this successfully many times.
It is amazing that a God that lives outside of time would be so sensitive to time. Most of the feasts of the Jews were timed by the first fruits of the barley and then 50 days later of the wheat. All of that interacts to the timing of the early and the latter rains.
The events in the last week of Jesus before the crucifixion were precisely timed with the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover. The Last Supper and the final sacrifice were enacted exactly to the hour — precise, intentionally-timed performances to accomplish timeless results. I personally believe that year was a year of Jubilee when all debts were to be forgiven and slaves released and property rights returned. There is no evidence that the Jews were keeping track of that in those days. (They had neglected the years of Jubilee before the Exodus to Babylon and one of the reasons for judgment was that they had ignored 70 years of Jubilees.)
But God does not ignore the details. He has chosen to turn the clock so only He can see it during this time of reaping. It would be easy for us to voice what Peter was hearing: “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. … The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:4, 9 KJV
So, what does timing have to do with the most important harvest that is happening as we speak? Jesus referred to the fields being “white unto harvest.” That suggests that there is a time for harvest. Every grain farmer knows the peril of delaying a ripe harvest. I have seen the wind shatter a mature harvest of barley to break off the ripe heads to spoil on the ground. I have also seen a mature harvest field enter into rainy season and get so wet that the seeds sprout in the heads and becomes useless.
Jesus was saying that the harvest is ready today. He can say that with certainty because He created the generational circumstances that created that harvest. Every unreached individual, or tribe, or nation has a history that has prepared them for the Good News to one degree or another. We know God’s intentions, “He is not willing that any should perish.” We carry the seeds of that Good News in our language recordings. They are planted and in God’s time they produce first the blade and then the full ear. There is a team effort such that Paul could say, “1Cor 3:6 KJV – “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”
The exquisitely precise, intentionally-timed performance that took Christ to the cross and then new life is the same dynamic that is creating opportunities across entire nations, sometimes by chaos, which is displacing whole tribes, sometimes by general insecurity that is making the Gospel look good to former enemies of Christ. I heard the personal testimony of a believer just days ago who said that ninety percent of her people now believe the Gospel because of hearing God’s Word in their own language. To all outside appearances they look Muslim but the interior story is much bigger and more important.
Whether we are sharing the Good News with a stranger via 5fish, or distributing MP3 players to a village, or just knocking on the door to try to find a translation helper, we must patiently and in faith believe that this is God’s business, and that God’s clock is ticking in the background to weave circumstances so the Gospel can do its work. Let us not grow weary.
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact RolandHeck@GlobalRecordings.Net