Jesse Ancona's Bible Meditations: In Earing Time and in Harvest
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Sabbath Meditation:

In Earing and In Harvest

by Jesse Ancona

May 23, 2002

I got some of the garden stuff planted yesterday, after preparing the beds the day before. It was pretty stressful, on the long weekend, because that was perfect gardening weather, and here I was, taking two days off in a row, one for the Sabbath, and one for a holy day! [My husband] was good about it, but he obviously found the whole business of holy days taking precedence over "making hay while the sun shines" ridiculous and foolish.

It's no wonder God emphasizes that the Sabbath is to be observed "in earing time and in harvest,1" since that's when the risk of not resting is the greatest, and people are less likely to do so. But this is a time people most need a break, and need to remind themselves not to be too busy to forget God!

It's also occurred to me that it's not a coincidence that the two holy seasons occur around the two harvests. This is not unusual among early cultures in that area -- and in most cultures, there's a festival after the harvest. What's unusual is the spring harvest, where reaping cannot occur until a prescribed time, and how, in all these things, there are set holy days, where, no matter what's happening with the crops or the weather, you have to trust God, lay down your tools, and rest.

When you consider the potential cost, were there to be disastrous weather, and planting delayed, or the harvest spoiled, a whole year's crop could be ruined. This is, I think, much more of a test than taking a day off work for a city dweller, and I think I'll meditate on that awhile!

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1  Exodus 34:21, "Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest." (KJV)

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