BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES                                                       written in 1874

The Story

Just before Alben Shaw died, he gave his son, Knowles, a prized violin and this advice: “Be good to your mother, and prepare to meet your God”. Knowles, who was about 12-years-old at the time, dropped out of school and began to work long and hard to provide for his mother and his 2 sisters on their small Indiana farm. For a little extra money, he played his violin at community parties and square dances.

In the middle of a big party, Knowles suddenly remembered the second part of his father’s advice: “Prepare to meet your God”. He put away his violin, prayed for forgiveness, and attended the first church service he could find. Gradually, Knowles began to learn more about living life as a Christian. When he was 26-years-old, he began preaching… and 2 years later, he was known statewide as the “singing evangelist” of Indiana.

One day after reading Psalm 126:5,6, which says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him”, he wrote this song.

Knowles died in a train accident when he was only 43-years-old, but in his short time of evangelistic ministry, he saw at least 11,000 make the decision to trust Christ for their salvation. That is quite a harvest!

By the way, the “sheaves” were the bundled crop; reaped, but not yet harvested.

You have probably heard this hymn sung more in old TV shows and movies than any other hymn (with the exception of Amazing Grace); at one time it was popular as any song sung in churches. As our culture has moved more and more away from a rural, agrarian society, we have lost some of the meaning of this song.  But, it’s message is as needed today as it ever was.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and –today – pray that God will give you the opportunity to tell               someone what Jesus has done for you! 

Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,

sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;

waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,

we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

 

Refrain:

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,

we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;

bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,

we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

 

Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,

fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;

by and by the harvest, and the labor ended,

we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.  (Refrain)

 

Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,

though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;

when our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,

we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.  (Refrain)

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