Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.
Last week I visited Kew Gardens – an amazing place dedicated to plants from all over the world. I had no idea until I was taken on a tour that plants could be so interesting. Our guide carefully picked out plants and explained them to us in a way which made them seem like the most amazing things on God’s planet. I was particularly impressed by the carnivorous plants, which typically live in soil that could not sustain ordinary plants, so they trap flies and other small animals and draw in their nutrients from their rotting bodies. I was so impressed that I even bought myself a Venus Flytrap. How long it will last, though, I could not guarantee. I am renowned for my ability to kill off plants! So much so, in fact, that I dug up my front garden and replaced it with shingle…
Isaac was clearly had much greener fingers than I have. A good crop at this time would have seen a harvest of roughly ten times the amount of grain planted. Isaac, however, managed to harvest a hundred times the amount of grain that he planted. That’s a pretty respectable harvest – and one that enabled him to become a very rich man!
It was not just because Isaac had green fingers that his harvest was so remarkable, however. We see here in Genesis the reason for his success was “because the Lord blessed him.” God was pleased with Isaac as he had served him faithfully. As a result of this, God ensured that Isaac had everything he needed, and became successful.
In our current Mark Marathon passage, Jesus tells us exactly how we, too, can we receive a harvest as incredible as Isaac’s. In Mark 4:20, Jesus says, “those who were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
What must we do, then, to receive God’s blessings? We must hear the word, accept it and bear fruit. We must listen carefully what God says to us, acknowledge that it is true, and then must act on it. It’s not enough simply to say that we are Christians; that won’t earn us God’s blessings. Instead, we need to ensure that we are living our lives for him in every respect.