When the plowman overtakes the reaper

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.”  Amos 9:13 NIV

At first reading, this verse is hard to comprehend and even a bit confusing.  It is like a brain teaser.  It compares two different metaphors for fruitfulness, growing grain and growing grapes, while at the same time intermixing references to all four of the agricultural seasons: plowing, planting, reaping and treading/threshing.  

Right away it is puzzling to consider the picture of a plowman overtaking a reaper.  One tends to think it would be the other way around since the normal sequence of events has the reaper following the plowman. 

The second analogy of the grape treader overtaking the planter seems more sequentially reasonable but one cannot help but wonder how that can be and what it could mean?  Pause and think about it.  And then to add even more confusion, the prophet Amos throws in one last sentence that seems to bypass the agricultural seasons altogether by stating simply that wine is going to flow directly from the hills.  Are you confused yet?  Good, now let’s look at this promise more carefully.

To begin with it needs to be said that this is one of the most remarkable promises ever given regarding God’s ability to release blessing and abundance.  It forecasts an era of fruitfulness that can only be explained as miraculous because it overrides the natural law.  If there is one promise to claim in the Bible and pray that it will come to pass in your lifetime this is it.  

This amazing promise of fruitfulness has two aspects.  The first is BIGGER results, through a more abundant crop.  Amos uses the grain growing analogy of the plowman overtaking the reaper to illustrate this phenomenon.  He is saying that the days are coming when the grain crop will be so abundant that the job of gathering it all will extent right up to the time when plowing and planting must begin again.  Now that is what you call a BIG harvest.

The second aspect of the Amos 9:13 fruitfulness promise is akin to this – expect FASTER results!  This is where this story really gets good.  The time between planting the grape vines and grapes being produced and ready for the treader will be so compressed, that no sooner are seeds sown than grapes appear under the treader’s feet.  That is instant growth.  Imagine, no more watering, weeding, waiting, pruning or gathering; just seed sowing followed immediately by results.

Could that be what Jesus was talking about with regard to the harvest of souls?  Is this faster-results promise in Amos something Jesus had in mind when He encouraged His disciples?  “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.”  (John 4:35 NLT) That is something to think about.  And if we are going to begin praying for a faster results era in our day, what better place to start than by asking God to apply this promise to harvesting souls.

But wait, there is more.  In the last part of this verse it says “New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.” What this final caveat is saying is that God’s blessing of fruitfulness will be so accelerated that as the seed is sown it will immediately turn into wine, thus bypassing all the other stages of growth including reaping and treading.  You’ve heard of water being turned into wine. (John 2)  Well this is seed becoming wine.  Both miracles defy natural laws and hold the promise of both bigger and faster results than heretofore ever imagined.

In summary, this verse promises unprecedented prosperity with bigger and faster returns on investment.  When all the seasons run together without interval it results in an uninterrupted supply of fresh produce.  

But also, and this is noteworthy, it results in unprecedented busyness.  One would think, “Oh boy, God is blessing, I can just sit back and enjoy it.”  But no, often with God’s blessings, like the farmer who gets no break between reaping and plowing, we are pressed into action. 

It is not unlike the time when Peter and the boys had spent all night fishing, caught nothing and then balked at Jesus telling them to launch out into the deep and let down their nets.  To their chagrin the harvest of fish was super abundant.  In fact the back breaking work of trying to haul in their breaking nets forced them to call for help from their partners in another boat.  And then both boats, overflowing with fish, began to sink. (Luke 5:4-7)  So just remember, when God blesses be prepared to hear the cry “All hands on deck!” 

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35 thoughts on “When the plowman overtakes the reaper”

  1. Wow. What an inspiring, clear and grace filled message! Thank you for this work.
    This morning I was wrestling with this passage and your clear and open layout as well as your passion for what God is saying through it was a great drink in the morning!
    Grace and Peace in Jesus

  2. Thanks for your encouraging word to me in your comment this morning. I am blessed to know that the Lord spoke to you through this wonderful passage of scripture.

  3. Something worth praying that God would do in releasing His abundance in our lives. Let us continue to do good and to sow to the Spirit that from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)

  4. Thanks so much for the explanation of this passage of scripture from Amos 9:13. It always seems to roll off the tongue when you read it but I never really understood what it means. Now I have full clarity, Thank you for the revelation and keep up the great work!!

  5. I couldn’t recount where in the Bible this verse was and upon looking online for it I found your site. God wants us to receive this promise. Believe and receive! Thank you for sharing the revelation you received.

    Grace and peace be to you and yours

  6. Wow. Very graphic. I’ve been meditating on this verse for a long time now &trying to get its nutritional content. This has settled that quest. I’m expecting GOD to usher me into the Amos 9:13 season.

    GOD bless you & increase your insight into the Word

  7. God has used u to explain and confirm the vision He gave me for farming and processing cassava tubers into garri grain which is a staple in Nigeria, West Africa. I’ve fought the good fight of faith from the time God spoke this vision to me in 2009 till this year 2015, when the first set of bags and sachets of garri hit the market! I’ve often reminded God this is His big idea which he infused in me to birth. With deep gratitude to God, I’m simply humbled for this timely prophecy given me today and my search for understanding that has led me to ur gainful and precise insight. Alleluia!!! Please join me to praise God.

  8. Thank you for your comment. May the Lord enrich you with every spiritual blessing in Heavenly Places!!!

  9. Sharon Hennessy

    Thank you Tom for the insight. On the 9th August 2015 Abba gave me this promise and again today 9th October. In search for more of an understanding I came across your site.

    I am expectant of His promise more so from reading your encouraging message. With joy and great expectation we will see souls coming to Christ like never before. His goodness, mercy and grace in abundance. The Lord has been preparing me for this time and I thank Him for the privilege of being His disciple in these days.



  10. Many years ago the Lord impressed upon my heart the phrase “keep your expectations high and you’ll possess what I supply!” I am in hopeful, faith filled expectation with you! Thanks for your comment. Tom

  11. Gene Kretzschmar

    Wow . Great Grace is here! From a prophetic admonition at the beginning of the year by Chuck Pierce to “plow up our fallow ground ” ,Janet and I had been asking what that is in our lives.. But then a juxtaposition; is this still not a Hebraic year of letting the land rest? Plowing should be started this fall at the beginning of the next year in normal Hebraic cycles. Today coming home from TCJHOP I was reminded of the verses that you just explained with your amazing teaching gift! I had also “heard” a week ago at TCJHOP “OUT of the Box” Dutch Sheets expressed this 3 times in his prophetic word on 1/24/16. Dutch expressed that what is about to happen March or April will even stretch his paradigm for what awakenings have looked like.. We have also been hearing acceleration and graduation for those pressing into the Lord wholeheartedly…. Idea;Father is even going outside of His usual box of 7 year cycles… He is so eager to release to Jesus his full reward.. THE NATIONS…. “He will shorten the times for the sake of the elect..” Today I kept hearing IMMENSE.. We are in it the time when ” No Eye hath seen nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that Elohiym has prepared for those that love Him! It is great to have you fully engaged in the prayer and worship movement as we approach the final stretch of this amazing race… Gene

  12. Gene – Thanks for the comment and added prophetic insight as it applies to the days in which we living. The acceleration of end-time visitations of God as well as His judgments are readily evident to those pressing on to know the Lord in this day and hour. Exciting times. Blessings my brother!

  13. This is the season in our life where several frontiers of Divine liftings are working up positioning us for divine favour. The plough man is indeed overtaking the reaper in our lives as my new book ‘ Positioning fir Divine Favor’, recently released, is getting great reviews and sold globally because of ithe core message that every destiny is unlocked at a particular place and time as appointed by God when we are in the right spiritual and physical position to access and receive.

  14. For my husband and I, this is the season in our lives when several frontiers of divine liftings are working in synergy to position us for divine favor. Indeed, the plowman is overtaking the reaper in our lives as my new book ‘Positioning for Divine Favor’, recently released, is getting interesting reviews and made available to feed the global community. The core message being that every destiny is unlocked at a particular place and time as appointed by God with the prerequisite that we are in the right spiritual and physical position to see, access, receive and retain our possession.

  15. I’v just been flooded with the light of this scripture and your commentary and i have been jumping,dancing,running all around my room scatering everywhere speaking in the holyghost!God bless you richly.This is the reality of the season i just entered,am taking the globe in a rush.Glory be to God!

  16. Woo! The Lord gave this scripture as our word for the new year, I’ve been researching on this, and this best insight on this scripture, God bless.

  17. Wow, what a revelation!!! Am the most blessed, am awake to this scripture. Thank you Lord Jesus and thank you sir for sharing

  18. William Mathys

    Good day Tom
    As you’re looking quite intensely into this
    particular scripture and you really broken it down It’s also very encouraging that many people Benefitted from your hard work in trying To give clarity to believers. For me however As the child of a plowman in rural South Africa in the 1930’s it’s different.

    Being black
    And having to deal with your skin color the
    Whole 70years of my life, the Angle is
    Different and Very different. The plowman
    Is not “symbolic “ for me it’s Real like in
    Real the Planter also is Not “symbolic”
    It’s Real as can be. So… this is where I stand
    And not me only, but most Black people around The world. We’re tired of “plowing and planting “ for the masters. We are now Taking God On His promise to overtake these “masters” To level the Grossly Uneven Distribution Of Wealth after years of Exploitation Through colonialism and “soft promises” From diluted scripture analysis. God is a God Of Justice He’s promises was and Will never be broken.

    In conclusion my brother it’s time for a New
    Dawn when the Plowman and the Planter will most Definitely Overtake these “masters “ we’re tired Of being plowmen, plow-women and planters. Important to Note:

    When God wants us to overtake He’s intentions were never for us to become “masters “ but to become Brothers and Sister Equal to each other and share the Harvest. It’s therefore imperative that the World masters take note!!!! We’re mobilizing against international injustices. The recent Gruesome Murder of George Floyd and the arrogance of Trump is evidence that we’re left with no choice other than to fight for a new order. Our fight for this new order will not necessarily by a finical fight but much more than that. It will be Mental Liberation through the Most Powerful Weapon on this planet the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Promises of God Almighty.

  19. Thank you for your insightful comment. Joining you in the struggle using the weapons of our warfare to the pulling down of strongholds in the Spirit.

  20. This explains it all. This has been happening to me. I’ve been paying my tithes for 20 years faithfully. & trust me I’ve been blessed. however this year I’ve been sowing bountifully. It has been like throwing gas on fire! I give & i trust, thats it! I literally plant the seed & in less the 24hrs I’m reaping. It has been unbelievable! But also I speaking the word about it. I’m not speaking against it. I trusting God that I will reap a harvest. I hope this helps someone

  21. oh my gosh! Thank you for this. This explains it all. This has been happening to me! I’ve been paying tithes for 20 years faithfully. I even pay tithes on monetary gifts. However this year I have been committed to sowing. & that verse makes perfect sense! Thank you & thank God for His word. I’m so excited! I pray that this helps someone

  22. Gene Kretzschmar

    Dear Pastor Tom: I have the Lord saying another aspect of the plowman overtaking the reaper and the sower of seeds the treader of grapes. For us individually, our city(like Minneapolis), our nation , and the nations I believe this applies…. First there is great blessing rapidly coming;favor as the Lord shines His Face on those who are sowing to Him and the Holy Spirit….. But also I am sensing we are coming into His suddenlies of judgement. Those who continue to sow wickedness are going to come into a very significant Fear of the Lord experience to return them to Him. Lineing up with Jonathan Cahn’s new teaching and Harbinger II .. My belief is that, for example if our 7 county metro area and State of Minn. continue to support our 7+ abortion clinics , and enforce the banning of conversion therapy by ordinance. These flagrant violations will contiunue to bring severe judgement on us.. When I send a plague , or famine, or locusts,, we could list the idols of Egypt,..
    If My people…..will turn from their wicked ways.
    I believe the cup of wrath is full but also the cup of blessing. So His suddenlies of what we sow even in the next few months may have long term pivotal consequences for this nation.

  23. I was looking for a commentary or explanation and found yours I must say it should be listed with all the famous ones. I loved it full of knowledge and straight to the point for easy understanding. Thank you.

  24. Wow Pastor Tom this is just too great an insight and commentary about this verse. I have failed to understand it for a long time now and I was forced to search it up and God’s spirit led me to your website. And what a beautiful and insightful commentary! I am declaring it over my life as I type. Glory be to God and may He continue to bless you and give you this unique ability to explain His word.

    From Zimbabwe with Love.

  25. I was doing a study on this as a fresh word came to me. This is helping to clarify what God is speaking in so many ways. Thank you. God’s word – the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Blessings!

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