“…and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” (Eccl. 3:2) We don’t hear too much about plucking anymore, but it is sometimes necessary. One of the reasons we used to chop cotton and corn was to removed some of that which was planted so the rest of the crop could produce more.
For instance, a diseased plant can contaminate other plants in the same area and ruin a whole crop. A shrub in my yard recently began to die. Upon consulting the gardener he told me it could contaminate the other shrubs and kill the whole bunch.
When the apostle Paul talked about disciplining unruly members of the church he used the analogy of a rotten apple ruining the whole barrel. The same is true in the church, an unruly, infected member can damage the entire church. (1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Thess. 3:13-14)
Sometimes a normal body gets infected with a disease that must be excised. Otherwise it will contaminate the whole body and kill it. In crops it is rather easy to spot a sick plant that needs to be plucked up, but in other areas is isn’t so easy.
Consequently we must always be on our guard, which is no easy task for we like things “nice and easy.” In society and the church, it is more difficult to be watchful and vigilant. For one thing, the vigilant must make a decision to act, and with people that isn’t always easy. However, not only must we realize the principles of nature, but the principles of God as well.