"SCATTERING PRECIOUS SEED"
"…The seed is the Word of God" (Lk. 8.11)
INTRO.: A hymn which shows that one aspect of our work as Christians is to be sowing the seed which is the Word of God is "Scattering Precious Seed" (#506 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by William Augustine Ogden (1841-1897). Some of Ogden’s other well known hymns include "He Is Able To Deliver Thee," "Jesus, The Loving Shepherd," "O If My House I Built Upon A Rock," "Seeking The Lost," and "Where He Leads, I’ll Follow." Also he composed melodies for "Come To The Feast" and "Bring Them In." The tune for "Scattering Precious Seed" was composed by George C. Hugg (1848-1907). Hupp’s most famous melody is that used with "No, Not One." I have no information as to the date or origin of publication for "Scattering Precious Seed."
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard; in addition to Sacred Selections.
The song exhorts us to labor diligently at sowing the seed of God’s word at all times and in all places.
I. Stanza 1 tells us where we should sow
"Scattering precious seed by the wayside,
Scattering precious seed by the hillside,
Scattering precious seed o’er the field wide,
Scattering precious seed by the way."
A. The wayside is used in Jesus’s parable of the sower to represent the closed heart–even they need to hear: Matt. 13.3-4, 18-19
B. In another parable, Jesus tells us that the field is the world: Matt. 13.37-38
C. This symbolizes the fact that we should be scattering precious seed by the way everywhere we go: Acts 8.4
II. Stanza 2 tells us why we should sow
"Scattering precious seed for the growing,
Scattering precious seed freely sowing,
Scattering precious seed, trusting, knowing,
Surely the Lord will send it the rain."
A. The reason why we scatter the precious seed is so that it might be planted in good and honest hearts and grow to bring forth fruit: Matt. 13.8, 23
B. The fact that we go about scattering the precious seed is an indication of our trust in the Lord: Prov. 3.5-6
C. The Lord has promised that He will send it the rain so that the word that goes forth out of His mouth will accomplish the purpose for which He sends it: Isa. 55.10-11
III. Stanza 3 tells us how we should sow
"Scattering precious seed, doubting never,
Scattering precious seed, trusting ever,
Sowing the word with prayer and endeavor,
Trusting the Lord for growth and for yield."
A. We should sow the seed, as in everything else that God tells us to do, with nothing doubting: Jas. 1.6
B. Rather, we should sow the seed with prayer and endeavor: Eph. 6.18-19
C. Thus, we must sow in faith that as we do the work the Lord will give the increase: 1 Cor. 3.6-7
CONCL.: The chorus tells us when we should sow
"Sowing in the morning, Sowing at the noontide,
Sowing in the evening, Sowing the precious seed by the way."
Not everyone can stand in the pulpit and preach or even in a Bible school classroom and teach. Some may not even feel comfortable trying to conduct home Bible studies. But there is something that each child of God can do in order that he or she might go about "Scattering Precious Seed."