Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Farmer & His Field- Isaiah 28 part 4

"Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my words.
Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he turn and harrow the ground? Does he not level its surface,and sow dill and scatter cummin, and plant wheat in rows, barley in its place, and rye within its area? For his God instructs and teaches him properly. For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; but dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club. Grain for bread is crushed, indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, he does not thresh it longer. This also comes from the LORD of hosts, who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great." (vs 23-29)

This final section of Isaiah 28 is a parable, much like Christ's many parables. It begins in much the same way as those of Christ often did - "If anyone has ears to hear let him hear." It's content and characters are also familiar - a farmer, soil, and seeds (see Mt 13, Mk 4, Lk 8 and 13).

The farmer of Isaiah 28 is going about his work. He is plowing the field, tilling the soil, and planting the seeds. Later he is threshing, beating, and grinding the harvest. He threshes it just enough and not too much for he wants to get the best out of the produce, not ruin it. This farmer takes great pains to reap the most out of his fields.

What a picture of God, the Divine Husbandman. This morning I will rely on Matthew Henry's thoughts and words rather than my own:

"God's church is His field (1 Cor 3:9) and He continually by His Word and ordinances is cultivating it. Does not God by His ministers break up the fallow ground? God sows His Word by the hand of His ministers (Mt 13:19). Whatever the soil of the heart is, there is some seed or other in the Word that is proper for it. And, as the Word of God, so the rod of God is thus wisely used. Afflictions are God's threshing instruments designed to loosen us from this world, to separate between us and our chaff, but He will proportion them to our strength. If the rod and the staff will answer the end, He will not make use of His cart-wheel and His horsemen."

"You are God's field" (1 Cor 3:19). O LORD of Hosts, do whatever is necessary in the soil of my heart and life to enable me to yield a harvest that will bring you the most glory. Give me ears to hear and make my mind, feelings, and actions to respond accordingly.

Awaiting the harvest,

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