“Be fruitful and multiply” is like the repeated phrase in a song, “We are young,” in the story of the beginnings.
Genesis 1:28 and 9:1 both commissions Adam and Noah, respectively, to be fruitful.
Fruitful and Productivity
Being fruitful is essentially different from the modern productivity. The biblical picture of being fruitful is agricultural, pastoral, and premodern whereas the contemporary picture of being productive is informational, professional, and postmodern.
Being fruitful invites you to a hard work of farmers or husbandry.
Too often industrialized productivity receives more premium than it should when it comes to the felt joy of those who work.
Work has become a way to finance or pay for the real work – something people do to get the meaning and purpose for their existence.
The loss of joy in one’s work inevitably leads to entertainment or retirement to find joy in the excellence or comfort in the abundance afforded by the discretionary income that is produced by “productivity.”
Note how productive people can feel that they wasted their lives regardless of how much money they make. Productivity does not lead to fruitfulness because sin corrupts even the best and the most efficient work force or civilization.
1. Being fruitful begins with humility – knowing that you are created or creatures that are bound by time and space.
2. Being fruitful involves pruning – cutting out unnecessary branches of interests and endeavors that disperse your energy and efforts.
3. Being fruitful requires abiding – receiving water, light, and other vital minerals and elements to bear fruit. What are the essential elements you need to be fruitful?
Picture of Fruitfulness
Popular culture’s fascination with youth culture is not really the picture of fruitfulness. In the world of farmers, fishermen, and gardeners, “we are young” means immaturity, instability, and fruitlessness.
Fruitfulness looks like returning to your Maker, Jesus, confessing your sins of branching out on your own, and trading your trust in your power to the trust in God’s power of making all things not only better, but new.
What does your picture of “Being Fruitful” look like?