Reaping What You Sow: 10 Bible Examples

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Have you ever heard the saying “you reap what you sow”? It means that the consequences of your actions will eventually catch up with you. In this article, we will explore powerful examples from the Bible that illustrate this concept. These stories offer valuable lessons for our own lives today. So, let’s dive in and discover the examples of reaping what you sow in the Bible!

Adam and Eve’s Disobedience (Genesis 3)

The story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience serves as a cautionary tale for all of humanity. As the first humans created by God in the Garden of Eden, they were given a simple commandment: not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, influenced by the serpent, they decided to disobey God’s instruction and ate the forbidden fruit.

This decision had lasting repercussions for Adam and Eve. First, they realized they were naked and felt ashamed, covering themselves with fig leaves. Then, they heard God’s voice and hid from Him. When confronted about their disobedience, they shifted blame and made excuses. As a result, they were expelled from paradise and forced to toil and suffer in the outside world.

This story illustrates the principle that actions have consequences and serves as a warning against the dangers of disobedience. It also emphasizes the importance of obeying God’s commands, as He knows what is best for us.

The Consequences of Disobedience:

ActionsConsequences
Ate the forbidden fruitRealized they were naked, felt ashamed, hid from God
Blamed others and made excuses for their actionsExpelled from paradise, forced to toil and suffer in the outside world

Cain’s Punishment for Killing Abel (Genesis 4:1-16)

According to biblical accounts, Cain’s act of murdering his brother Abel had serious consequences. Cain was not only cursed but banished, left to wander the earth as a fugitive. This tragic story emphasizes the principle that violence begets consequences and serves as a lesson about the gravity of our actions. Through this tale, we learn that neglecting to address anger or resentment can ultimately lead to devastating consequences.

cain's punishment for killing abel
“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?’ And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.'”

Jacob’s Deception of Esau and Isaac (Genesis 27)

In this narrative, Jacob resorts to deceitful means to receive his father’s blessing and birthright, pretending to be Esau to fool his elderly father Isaac. His conniving plan comes back to haunt him in the future when he becomes the victim of deception by his father-in-law Laban, who tricks him into marrying Leah instead of his beloved Rachel.

This example illustrates the inevitable cycle of reaping what you sow and the lasting consequences of dishonest actions. Jacob’s lie caused tension and strife within his family and set into motion a sequence of events that ripple throughout generations, highlighting the importance of honesty and integrity in all aspects of life.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” – Galatians 6:7

The Consequences of Deception

Actions of DeceptionConsequences
Jacob deceives Isaac for blessing and birthright, pretending to be Esau.He experiences deception himself when marrying Leah instead of Rachel, and creates tension and strife within his family.
Laban deceives Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rachel.Jacob has to work for Laban for many years to marry Rachel.
Joseph’s brothers deceive their father Jacob about Joseph’s death by selling him into slavery.Joseph eventually becomes a powerful ruler in Egypt and forgives his brothers, leading to the reconciliation of his family.

As demonstrated in these examples from Genesis, deception can lead to destructive consequences, causing tension and strife within families and leading to cycles of deceit and retribution. It is important to remember the principle of sowing and reaping, and strive to act with honesty and integrity in all aspects of life.

Haman’s Plot Against the Jews (Esther 7)

In the book of Esther, Haman, a high ranking official in the Persian empire, plotted to exterminate the Jewish people because their customs and beliefs were different from those of the rest of the kingdom. Haman’s ultimate goal was to appease his own pride and power, but his intentions led to his downfall.

Through deception and manipulation, Haman managed to convince the king that the Jews were a threat to the kingdom, and his plan to execute them was set in motion. However, Queen Esther, a Jew herself, bravely revealed the truth to the king and exposed Haman’s treachery.

As a result, the king ordered Haman’s execution on the very same gallows that he had prepared for Esther’s uncle Mordecai. This example reinforces the importance of justice prevailing and the principle that evil intentions can lead to self-destruction.

Haman's Plot Against the Jews
“Haman’s story shows that one’s selfish and malicious schemes can have dire consequences.”

David’s Sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12)

You may be familiar with the story of David and Bathsheba. David, the king of Israel, saw Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop and lusted after her. He then summoned her and committed adultery with her, despite the fact that she was married to one of his soldiers. When Bathsheba became pregnant, David tried to cover up his wrongdoing by bringing her husband, Uriah, home from the front lines of battle and encouraging him to sleep with his wife. When Uriah refused, David arranged for him to be killed in battle. However, God was not pleased with David’s actions, and he sent the prophet Nathan to confront the king.

Nathan told David a parable about a rich man who stole a poor man’s only lamb. Upon hearing the story, David was outraged and declared that the rich man should be punished. Nathan then revealed that David was akin to the rich man in the parable, and that he had committed adultery and murder. David was stricken with guilt and begged for forgiveness, which he eventually received. However, the consequences of his actions persisted.

“This cautionary tale demonstrates the consequences of succumbing to temptation and serves as a reminder of the importance of personal accountability.”

The aftermath of David’s sin was devastating. The child conceived from his affair with Bathsheba died, despite David’s fervent prayers. His other sons, Amnon and Absalom, turned against him, resulting in Absalom’s rebellion and death. David’s actions caused turmoil and tragedy in his own family, and he experienced significant personal loss and trauma as a result.

david's sin with bathsheba

The Consequences of Sin

David’s story is an important cautionary tale about the dangers of giving in to temptation and succumbing to sin. Though David was repentant and received forgiveness from God, his actions had lasting consequences not only for himself but also for his family and kingdom. This biblical example serves as a reminder of the importance of personal accountability and taking responsibility for our actions.

The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower, found in Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, and Luke 8:5-15, tells the story of a farmer who sows seeds on different types of soil. Some seeds fall on the path and are eaten by birds, some on rocky ground and wither quickly, others among thorns and are choked, but some on good soil and produce a bountiful crop. This parable teaches us that the Word of God can only take root in a receptive heart and emphasizes the importance of nurturing the right soil to produce a fruitful harvest.

Jesus uses this parable to describe four different types of responses to the gospel: the hard-hearted, the shallow-hearted, the distracted, and the open-hearted. When we allow the cares of this world to consume us, or when we fail to set our hearts on things above, we will be unfruitful in our walk with God.

Just like the seeds sown on good soil, our hearts need to be receptive to the message of God’s Word. We need to cultivate a heart that is open to receiving and implementing the teachings of Jesus. When we do this, we will produce a bountiful crop of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The Four Types of Soil

Let’s take a closer look at the four types of soil mentioned in this parable:

Type of SoilDescriptionOutcome
PathHard, packed groundThe seeds are eaten by birds and produce no crop.
RocksShallow soil with underlying rocksThe seeds sprout quickly, but wither in the sun because of a lack of roots.
ThornsSoil with thorns and weedsThe seeds grow, but are choked out by the thorns and produce no fruit.
Good SoilDeep, fertile soilThe seeds flourish and produce a bountiful harvest.

The parable of the sower reminds us that our hearts are like soil. We need to be intentional about cultivating them and removing obstacles that hinder our growth. When we maintain a soft and receptive heart to God’s Word, we will reap the rewards of a fruitful life.

The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Talents / Minas

These parables both illustrate the importance of using our God-given resources and opportunities wisely to achieve growth and positive results. In Matthew 25:14-30, the “parable of the talents,” a master entrusts his servants with differing amounts of money (talents) and rewards those who invest and produce a return while punishing the one who fails to do so. Similarly, in Luke 19:12-27, the “parable of the minas,” a nobleman rewards and punishes his servants based on their wise investment of minas (money) while he is away. These stories highlight the principle that our actions have consequences and show how utilizing our talents and abilities can lead to fruitful outcomes.

Parable of Talents and Minas
The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:12-27)
SummaryA master entrusts his servants with differing amounts of money (talents). Two of the servants use their money to produce a return, while the third buries his and returns it without any increase. The master rewards the first two and condemns the third.A nobleman entrusts his servants with minas while he goes away to be crowned king. Upon his return, he rewards those who had invested wisely and punishes the one who had hidden his mina away.
MeaningWe must wisely use the gifts God has given us (talents) to produce fruit and increase His kingdom. Those who fail to do so will face consequences.God has entrusted us with resources and expects us to put them to good use. Wise investment brings growth, neglect results in punishment.
Lesson LearnedUtilizing and investing our gifts and resources can lead to growth and blessings.We must responsibly use our resources and invest in things that contribute to God’s kingdom and not just our own gain.

Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)

Ananias and Sapphira’s story in Acts 5:1-11 is a poignant example of the consequences of dishonesty. Following a land sale, the couple conspires to withhold a portion of the proceeds while presenting themselves as having given the full amount to the apostles.

This act of deceit is met with swift and fatal punishment, as Ananias and Sapphira drop dead upon being confronted by Peter about their actions. This account serves as a stark reminder of the importance of honesty and integrity in all our dealings, as well as the gravity of the principle that dishonesty has severe consequences.

ananias and sapphira
“Then Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.”

What are some examples of hope and reaping what you sow in the Bible?

In the Bible, the story of Ruth illustrates how she reaped what she sowed by showing kindness and loyalty to her mother-in-law, leading her to discover hope in the Bible. The parable of the mustard seed also exemplifies hope, as it symbolizes the growth of faith and its impact on one’s life.

The Judgement of Jezebel in Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-23)

In the book of Revelation, Jezebel, a false prophetess, is rebuked for leading the church in Thyatira astray. Her immoral and idolatrous actions lead to her judgement and suffering. She is given a chance to repent, but she refuses, and as a consequence, her children also face the consequences of her actions.

This story emphasizes the idea that our choices and actions impact not just ourselves but also those around us. It also highlights the importance of repentance and turning away from sinful behavior. Just like Jezebel, we must take responsibility for our actions and their consequences, and we must be willing to make amends and seek forgiveness when we have done wrong.

Let us learn from the example of Jezebel and strive to live a life of righteousness and integrity, for the benefit of ourselves and those around us.

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Allan Wilson is the creator of the Scriptural Thinking Affirmations Package. Featuring over 200 minutes of mp3 audio Bible affirmations complete with background music. The package comes with the original affirmations PDF ebook and many bonus affirmation Bible studies as well. The affirmations are designed to help you call to remembrance all of the wonderful benefits of being in Christ and the marvelous privilege of being a child of God.