The Bible – A Packet
Boys and girls are generally interested in packets. They are always curious to know what is inside. And here we have the Bible likened to a packet. “A packet of what?”, I seem to hear you ask.
In one of his books F. W. Boreham tells us that, as a boy, he was often sent to what was known as “the magic shop”. This was a very strange, very old, very dusty little shop at the far end of the town. The odd little man who kept it was as strange and as old and as dusty as the shop itself. And yet the boys were rather fond of him, for they knew instinctively that he was a good man. On the desk at the far end of the counter he kept a well-worn Bible, and often on wet days he would chat to them regarding its truths. He was a seed seller and sometimes he would say to his customers as he poured the seed into the packets that they were to carry home, “ I sell magic. It’s all alive; indeed it’s life itself. You drop it into the ground and it will multiply itself a hundredfold. You cannot do that with the parcels that you get from the grocer or the butcher. This is the magic shop, boys, the magic shop. You’ve come to the miracle counter. I’m selling miracles all the time!” This was all true and Mr. Boreham found himself later on connecting the thought of the seed in the old man’s boxes with the Bible on the old man’s desk.
Today we have no difficulty in connecting the Bible with a packet of seed. “The seed”, says Chris,t “is the word of God”. The Bible is full of precious truths which are as seed to be sown in our minds and hearts. May we all have the honest and good heart to receive them, and may we seek to sow them in the hearts of others.
And now let us look more closely at this precious packet. The Bible is a packet of:
I. Good Seed
Sometimes we notice on packets of seeds the words “Seeds that grow”. The seed is guaranteed to be good and to give good results. And all the seed that we have in the Bible is good seed. There are, alas, many books in the world today which contain bad seed, seed which, when sown in the minds of young people, yields vice instead of virtue. Avoid such seed as you would a plague. The seed of the Bible, however, is of the finest quality. It has been brought to earth from heavenly gardens and like its Maker is perfect. Parts of the Bible are thousands of years old, but age has not diminished the quality of the seed. The seed contained in it is ancient, but it is as good today as when the Bible first came into being, and, given the right circumstances, it will always grow.
II. Mixed Seed
I once bought a packet of Sweet Pea seed. On the front of the packet there was a variety of beautiful blooms and underneath the words “Sweet Peas, Superb varieties, Mixed”. In the Bible packet there is seed that will produce all the superb varieties of the Christian virtues, and the better world which we so ardently desire. The seed is mixed. It is not sorted out into distinct packets of “faith seed”, “hope seed”, or “love seed”. On the contrary, it is scattered throughout the different books of the Bible and as we search the Scriptures, one seed here, and another there, is firmly planted in our minds. Psalm 89:7 is a seed which will produce reverence; Proverbs 12:22 a seed which will produce truth; 1 Corinthians 13:13 a seed which will produce love. Other seeds, when planted, will lead to courage and patience and hope. Still others to honesty, “Forget-me-nots”, “Sweet William” and “Sweet Mary”.
III. Living Seed
There is a great difference between a seed and a stone. A stone is a dead thing. You may plant it in the garden, but it will still be a stone. A seed, on the other hand, is a living thing. It is a storehouse of energy. The great oak lies latent in the acorn. And the Bible is like the seed in this respect. It is living and powerful. Christ’s words are spirit and life. The Bible, as seed, can beget life. An unbelieving German Countess, when dying, ordered that her grave be covered with a solid granite slab; that around this should be placed solid rocks; that the entire mass should be fastened together by strong iron clamps, and that this inscription be cut on the stone: “This burial place, purchased for all eternity, must never be opened”. A little seed, however, sprouted inside the covering, and a tiny head pushed its way up between the slabs and grew and grew until it burst the iron clamps and lifted the immense block so that the entire structure became broken, confused stones among which, in verdure and beauty, grew the great oak which had caused the destruction. And this is a faint illustration of the power of the seed of the Word when planted by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who are spiritually dead. The clamps are burst asunder, there is a spiritual resurrection, new life is begotten. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever.” (1 Peter 1:23)
And then the Bible, as seed, can not only beget life, it can also beautify character. A number of Christian girls were once attending a meeting in Japan. The subject for discussion was how to glorify Christ by our lives. One of the girls said it seems to me like this, “One spring my mother got some flower seeds, little, ugly, black things, and planted them. They grew and blossomed beautifully. One day a neighbour coming in and seeing those flowers said, “Oh how beautiful! I must have some too. Won’t you please give me some seed?” Now, if this neighbour had only just seen the flower seed she wouldn’t have asked for them. It was only when she saw how beautiful was the blossom that she wanted them. And so is Christianity. When we speak to our friends of the truths of the Bible they seem to them hard and uninteresting, and they say, “We don’t care to hear about these things. They are not as interesting as our own stories”. But when they see the same truth blossoming out in our lives, into kind words and good actions, then they say, how beautiful are these lives! What makes them different from other lives? When they hear that it is the teaching of Jesus, then they say, “We must have it too”. And so by our lives, more than by our tongues, we can preach Christ to our unbelieving friends.”
In closing I would stress the fact that this good seed is no use unless it is sown, and on prepared soil. I trust that the hearts of all you young people will be prepared for the reception of the seed of the Word, so that the seed, when received, will grow and blossom into a beautiful Christian character and that you yourselves having received the seed will become sowers.
That man who bearing precious seed, in going forth doth mourn, he doubtless bringing back his sheaves, rejoicing shall return. (Psalm 126:6)