Bringing in the Sheaves

Psalm 126:6

Since my father was a pastor, I went to a lot of church growing up. Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night I sang the songs of the faithful and listened to my dad rightly divide the word of truth. However, as little children often do, I occasionally misunderstood the words to the hymns we sang.

I list here examples of titles and phrases of those original, hymns, followed by a four-year-old’s interpolation of my own and other PKs I’ve known:

We Will Understand it Better Bye and Bye

Original – “Temptations, hidden snares, often take us unawares.”
4 year old PK – “Temptations, hidden snares, often take our underwear.”

Victory in Jesus

Original – “He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.”
4 year old PK – “He socked me and boxed me with his big boxing gloves.”

Bringing in the Sheaves

Original – “Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.”

4 year old PK – “Bringing in the sheeps” or “Bringing in the sheets.”

Theologically, sheep made more sense, since the Bible talked a lot about God’s people as sheep. Experientially, since we never owned a clothes dryer, hanging the sheets on the line to dry, then bringing them in, also made sense. I hadn’t grown up on a farm the way my daddy did. He had always known what “sheaves” were.


Of course, I eventually understood the agrarian allegory of sowing (planting) and reaping (harvesting) the grain, stacking it upright, then hauling each sheave (stack) to the storehouse for threshing later. As I write this, I understand that many readers still have no idea what any of those things are. Most modern readers will be uninformed, so I edited the paragraph with synonyms. Please accept my apology if it made for more cumbersome reading. I digress.

Planting and harvesting is a recurring theme in scripture. Jesus used the idea more than once to illustrate different principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. You harvest what you plant. You harvest more than you plant. You harvest in a different season than you plant. You can expect weeds to sprout up.

Here in the Old Testament, the psalmist paints a picture not of “The Contented Farmer,” (see the lyrics by G. Bickham, 1737) but one who is crying profusely as he plants the precious seed. Perhaps this points to the seed being the last of what was stored. Maybe this planting was at the end of a series of bad years, and his family will starve if this crop doesn’t make. The psalmist reminds the farmer, “They that sow in tears will reap in joy.” Like a little kid singing hymns, at times the words don’t seem to match up with our experience, but the promise holds.

Published in: on March 1, 2016 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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