Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38).
He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth and the earth was reaped (Revelation 14:16).
Boaz, who was the benefactor of Bethlehem and a mighty man of wealth, presents in his princely personality a suggestive portraiture of the Lord of the harvest. But the real harvest over which Christ has supreme supervision is far greater than all the combined grain fields of this universe. He, as the perfect teacher, lifted the figure of harvest to nobler heights and applied it to His worldwide project, which would continue unto the end of the age. We are granted a sight of His stately splendor in the book of Revelation, where He appears with His golden coronet of rightful claim as Reaper of the earth, seated upon a cloud with a sharp sickle in His hand (Revelation 14:14). The cloud as a chariot indicates His absolute independence of human imperialistic authority and of earthly institutions, to either sanction or substantiate His rights and resolutions. As Lord, He is sovereign in power and purpose, privilege, and prestige. Let us recall that in the record of John's message, the Lord's brethren sought to persuade Him to go to Jerusalem for the celebration of the feast of tabernacles which followed the ingathering of harvest and treading of the vintage, but He answered, "Mine hour is not yet come." The words used in this connection, such a vine, harvest reap, and wrath, direct our attention to final issues (Revelation 14-15)
In the light of Christ's ultimate Lordship of the finality of harvest, let us revert to the familiar setting of His world plan as given by John. "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest...One soweth, and another reapeth" (John 4:34-35, 37).
Christ saw before Him a stricken world, whelmed in sorrow and stunned with grief. The anguish of man's agony burdened His heart; therefore, in His commission, He envisaged the whole of mankind and enwrapped humanity in His yearning desire, saying to His disciples as He did so, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." He may well have vindicated His righteousness by the obliteration of all evil and by sweeping its unholy brood into oblivion. But He delights in mercy and demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us (Romans 5:8).
With prescient eye He saw the striking outlook, the sensational opportunity, and the sure and certain outcome. He held the prerogative and power to organize the disorganized, to harmonize the disrupted and to stabilize the disquieted in peace forever. His is the final voice of authority on the foremost need of mankind, for He is Lord of the harvest. When He gave the words of Matthew 9:38 to His disciples and they carried out His instruction by praying, He called the very twelve that prayed. These twelve Jesus sent forth (Matthew 10:1, 5). So it was with the four young men who spent a night of prayer for missionary work beside a haystack in a field in Boston. All four were commissioned to go, Adoniram Judson being one of them. This became known as the haystack prayer meeting.
What a glorious array of majesty lay behind our Lord's gracious ministry so unobserved by the leaders of His day. He descended to the lowest that He might ascend to the highest and secure gifts for men which were necessary in fulfilling His appointed task (Ephesians 4:8-11). In His descent He submitted to unutterable agony and secured inestimable authority, for He said, "All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18).
Wherefore, celestially and terrestrially He is universal Lord and wields the power to govern the wind and waves, to pen and to shut doors, to kill and to make alive, to remit or retrain sins, to create or destroy, to alienate or reconcile, to judge of justify, yea power to shrivel the heavens like a scroll. He holds the scepter of supremest authority and sublimest administration and His management is magnificent. His Lordship as Lord of the harvest is most creditable. He gave to the field the faithful sowers and famous reapers, the virtuous testifers and valiant translators, the studious writers and strenuous workers, the eminent martyrs and excellent missionaries, the hardy heroes and happy heralds, the fervent intercessors and ardent interpreters, together with the silver-tongued and sympathetic hearted preachers. He fashions many of His servants from the most unlikely material and no other world leader ever adopted so feeble a method and such frail instruments for so mighty a project, for He purposes to subdue all things unto Himself. With His practical strength and providential skill He is sure to prevail. The grandest work in this world is to be a distributor for the Lord of the harvest, to be under His orders and superintendence to obey His will, to do His work and be participant in that final joy of harvest-home. Remember all power is vested in the hands of the Victor of Calvary all authority is committed to the Conqueror of death, His injunctions are as insistent and imperative today as ever. Let us not say that the strongholds of superstition are impregnable. We are under a perpetual obligation to this Master to go and teach. Let us calmly consider His commission, carefully investigate its incentive and closely examine the far-reaching extent of His great emprise, "Go ye into all the world... to the end of the age." Our vaunted attainments are of no value in His eyes. Spiritual equipment is the great essential. If we believe He has all power as Lord of the harvest, we should certainly obey the proposition He propounds and prosecute the project committed with the utmost diligence and devotion.
It this the time, O Church of God, to cry, retreat?
And arm with weapons weak and blunt
The men and women who have borne the brunt
Of Truth's fierce strife?
Is this the time to halt, when all around horizons lift,
new destinies confront? Strange duties face our nation;
Never wont to play the laggard when God's will was found.
So rather strengthen stakes and lengthen cords
And to thy kingdom come for a such a time.
Great things attempt for Him, great things expect,
Whose love imperial is, whose power, sublime.