“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!”
Click Here for an email subscription to this blog.