We know that various plants and animals have invaded new habitats when they have been introduced, either intentionally or accidentally. Plants often come into a new environment as ‘introduced seed’. The newly introduced species can often displace other varieties which cannot compete with the invader. At other times the newly introduced species can be a god-send.
There is a famous incident known as the Mutiny on the Bounty, popularised in books and academy award winning movies – with such famous actors as Errol Flynn (1933), Charles Laughton, Clark Gable (1935), Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris (1962), Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson (1984). The real event took place in the remote South Pacific seas back in 1789, just one year after Australia was colonised. A ship’s crew, led by Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, took over Captain Bligh’s British Royal Navy sailing ship named the Bounty, and sailed to Pitcairn Island where they settled.
When I read Captain Bligh’s ship’s log I discovered that the voyage was all about ‘introduced seed’. Inspired by botanist Sir Joseiph Banks, the British wanted to introduce a Tahitian plant known as breadfruit to a West Indies community which was deficient in food variety. The “bounty” was to be a shipload of seedlings. However the voyage was interrupted by the mutiny.
As an historical note, when the breadfruit was eventually delivered by Captain Bligh on a second voyage in 1792 the slaves in Jamaica refused to eat the fruit. But enough of the history lesson, let me get to my point.
Planet Earth has received an ‘introduced seed’. An extra-terrestrial seed has been brought here, which allows a totally new kind of fruit to be enjoyed by earth’s inhabitants. The ‘seed’ is the Word of God – and it is an indestructible, eternal seed. When planted in human hearts it spawns a new kind of life-form, divine and eternal, springing from the mortal soil. Mortal, human creatures, mired and enslaved by sin, are able to propagate, within their very being, an eternal and divine existence, connecting them to the God of all Eternity as one of His children. This is a most amazing seed and we are most wonderfully privileged to have it introduced to us.
However, not everyone likes the fruit. Just as the Jamaican slaves rejected fruit which nourished Tahitians, humans have been known to spurn the eternal seed which has the power to set them free from their mortality. People have ingested the seed, then spat it out. Some have found it hard to digest. Others have simply despised its relative tastelessness, compared to the commercialised products designed to tempt their senses. This seed is, after all, “angels’ food” (see Psalm 78:25). It does not pander to base human appetites (see Matthew 16:23 and 1Corinthians 2:14). It lies dormant in the soil of the human heart unless it is “mixed with faith” (see Hebrews 4:2).
Those who have no interest in this divine ‘introduced seed’ can live their whole lives without it. Those who have been born again by the germination of this seed cannot live without it. Those who live without it exist without any sense for what it is. Those who have eaten of its fruit have transcended their personal capacities and enjoyed realities that are of eternal consequence.
Praise God for introduced seed. I pray that you pick up the seed packet – the Bible – and determine to plant the seeds, watering them with faith, until your life has become a verdant garden of eternal frutfulness.