Adam and Eve lived in a garden.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” Genesis 1
When God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt he wanted them to go into the Promised Land. He told them to subdue it.
He said to them, “If the Gadites and Reubenites, every man armed for battle, cross over the Jordan with you before the Lord, then when the land is subdued before you, you must give them the land of Gilead as their possession. Numbers 32 v 29
One of the meanings of “subdue” is “bring under control.”
God intends that we subdue that for which we have responsibility, whether it be work, family, property or land. We will have the strength to do it. God is pleased when we obey him.
I decided today I would subdue my garden after reading this scripture.
Despite our recent cold spell, when we had snow and wind, seed time is here. I had been reluctant to work in the garden due to the bad weather.
Genesis 8 v 22. “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
The days have more light and the earth is warming up. Plants, whose leaves died back over the winter are putting forth shoots. Leaves are breaking out of their wrappings on the branches. The cycle of nature takes its course despite the windy cold blasts that would make one stay inside warm. The daffodils broke forth a month ago giving us beauty. Their yellow trumpets swayed in the winds and remained till their time of glory passed.
I saw some tomato plants for sale at a bargain price in a local shop. The garden centres would charge much more. They tempted me to start some gardening even though it felt too chilly to do any outdoor work. I planted them out in the safety of the greenhouse. Last years tomato plants didn’t need much attention and produced fruit well into autumn. Just plant them and wait for the harvest. That doesn’t seem like hard work.
There is a plot of land beside my house. In former years the land would have been a farmer wife’s garden. It has been neglected for years, no longer lovingly tended. Last year it produced of itself nettles and curling weeds that stood strong and tall all summer. I did not have the courage to invade their territory. Thankfully the winter defeated them and the shoots withered.
I planned this year to get out early and cut back any new growth. My son strimmed that area a few weeks ago. The grass, nettles and weeds made a come back. Today I determined to go to war against the weeds. I was not put off by the cool wind. These weeds will sprout overnight! I used my lawn mower as my weapon of war. I powered my way over the rough ground and all before the mower was mulched. I subdued my land!
I will plant potatoes that will flourish in the fertile soil. It has been left fallow for years. Wherever nettles grow, one can be sure the soil is good. No back breaking work for me digging up the soil. No, I will drop each potato in a small overturned sod and let nature take its course. I have the added benefit of having a ready supply of fertiliser for my garden. I live beside the sea. I have gathered seaweed that was washed up from storms in the winter time.
I will be sure of having a harvest of potatoes and tomatoes at least in the autumn and all without much effort. The garden will once more be lovingly tended and enjoyed for the food it will produce. I will wait to see what other seedlings the local shop will offer for my garden. For now the potatoes are busy sending out roots unseen underground. The tomato plants are enjoying my green house.
It is amazing that each spring the plants begin to emerge out of the soil. Isaiah 61 v 11 explains,
“The soil makes the young plant come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
Abundant life comes forth! I rejoice to see what the scriptures describe, happen before my eyes in my garden. I will praise Him.