Our next reading is a beauty! Isaiah 28:23-29
v23: Give ear…hear … listen: Three different words are used here for hearing. G-d is driving home to the people that they need to pay attention to Him. He wants them to recognise and to understand His words. And then, ultimately, He wants them to respond properly to Him.
v24: Keep ploughing all day: This is an expression that refers to tilling – breaking up the soil.
Note: The farmer does not plough, and plough, and plough and just break up clods of soil all day long. Ploughing and breaking clods is only a small part of what the farmer does. He has more to his job than just preparing the soil. What this is speaking about is that we need to have a complete faith. We must not have a faith that emphasizes one or two things (those things that we like, those things that we are good at, things that come naturally to us or are convenient). We can’t do the same thing in the same way all the time. Doing the same thing over and over again will not produce a harvest.
v25: Levelled: Made flat.
- Sow: Once the ground has been adequately prepared, the farmer begins a new stage – that of planting.
- Cumin: The word used here is a very unusual word. Most scholars believe that all of these seeds mentioned here are very small, but they produce a very desirable crop.
- Scatter: To throw. These little seeds are thrown randomly into the soil.
- Plant the wheat in rows: The wheat is planted in a more orderly manner.
- Appointed place: There is a methodology to planting. Once the ground has been tilled and made ready, the seeds are planted in a certain way and in very specific locations – the fields are not haphazardly mixed up with all seeds thrown in together. This is so that the harvest would have the greatest potential (Haggai 1:5-7).
v26: Instructs: This is literally the word for discipline. Some point out that discipline comes first. After discipline comes teaching. G-d first disciplines His people and then He teaches them.
v27: Threshing sledge … a cart wheel: The cumin is not harvested in the way that would seem to be the most obvious or logical.
Note: Just as there are specific ways to till the ground and to plant the seeds so also are there specific methods employed to harvest the seed. The harvest is most successful when the right methodology is employed. In light of the last days, G-d knows how to plant and how to harvest most effectively so that the harvest produces the greatest results. Isaiah is telling us about G-d’s activity in the last days (John 4:34-38, Rev 14:14-20).
v28: Note: This is another example of G-d knowing what or what not to do.
- Ground … does not thresh it forever: It is right to grind the bread grain into a powder, but it is an activity that is not done indefinitely. There comes a point in time where the grinding process reaches its end.
- (With the wheel of the cart he does not break, and with the hooves of his horses he does not grind): G-d uses only what is necessary to get the job done. If He doesn’t have to use the cavalry or the millstone He doesn’t.
v29: This: Referring to all these things – preparing, planting, harvesting and grinding.
- From the L-rd of hosts: He knows what to do. The things that are going to happen in the last days come about as an outcome of G-d’s activity, the work of Messiah in the last days, to produce a righteous and a just Kingdom.
- Counsel … guidance (literally: resource): The counsel of G-d and the provision of G-d are wonderful and magnificent. G-d is going to bring about a change among His people. This is something that needs to be done. G-d perfectly understands the situation. He knows the best methodology of how to produce G-d-pleasing results. Our response to all of this is to submit. We need to believe in Messiah – serving Him, so that His righteousness and justice might be manifested in this world.