Isaiah 28:23-29, “Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plough all day to sow? Doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he has made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart , nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”
So that’s the One we have come to today, the one who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working, so whatever He says to us, whatever He asks of us, however He asks us to deal with problems, that is the best way. So it tells us that God sendeth wisdom to the farmer, and it starts off with plowing, and plowing prepares the ground, the soil, and breaks up the hardness.
It was shared at Ngaire about some farmers up in the mountains of Peru. They wanted to plant potatoes, but after the summer the ground was very hard. They were waiting for the rain but it did not come, and they were getting anxious because it was now planting time. They got the oxen together and tried. It was impossible. The oxen suffered. Then the rain came and they were so pleased. It was the gentle rain that came down. It was enough to soften the ground that they could plow. God knows that hard ground cannot cope with a downpour, so He sends a gentle rain. We were singing that His care can soften all hardness. It tells us in one of the minor prophets that He will come down – the early and the latter rain. We are thankful that God knows our hearts and He cares. It does not rain continually, just enough to soften the ground and then He goes out with the seed, and He does not cast the seed just willy-nilly, the seed has its place. He plants the fitches here because it will grow best here, and the cummins in another place because He knows they will grow best there. They can’t be swapped because the farmer knows where they grow best. We grow best where God chooses best to place us, God knows the best place.
In I Corinthians 12, Paul spoke about different ways to be members of the body. We can’t say because we are not the eyes or the foot or the hearing, we are useless or worthless in this body. Sometimes we feel like that, too. Maybe we feel that someone else’s place is greater and what’s the point, anyway. We can’t look at anyone else and say, “They are not the eye,” and think they are worthless. If we are where God has placed us we will grow best there, and God does not count us worthless or useless, it does not pay to pine for someone else’s place, because then we fail to find the enjoyment and contentment that God has put in our place for us to find. Then He tells us about the farmers when they bring in the fruit, He does not thrash the fitches or does not put the cummin under the cart wheel because He will know that will destroy the purpose of that seed (used for seasoning or flavouring) so they had to be dealt with in a way that preserved them for their special use, so they weren’t threshed or put under the cartwheel.
Fresh corn is bruised. Maybe we need to be willing for the bruising experiences that will make us bread. It tells us, the farmer in his wisdom does not go threshing all the time, and he does not put the cartwheel over it all the time to crush it, just enough to separate what is of value and what is of this life and worthless, separating the little grains of wheat corn from the chaff and throws that up into the wind. And that separates it, and maybe this convention can be like that too to separate the things of no value that have pressed in like the chaff, things that are so light and have no substance in them. That is the wisdom of our Father.
It tells us in Jeremiah 4:3, “For thus saith the Lord, ‘Break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns.'” In the Old Testament God allows the ground to be rested, God understands we need rest, too. He also understood, after the land had been rested there wasn’t any point in sowing the seed into the land that had weeds or thorns, things that would choke the seed. That is to break up the ground to get rid of the weeds. You don’t plant seeds among the thorns. When you go out of this convention, you don’t want the seed you have received in a life so choked with the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, as it says in the parable of the sower and the seed. We want to break up this fallow ground, getting rid of all the weeds and their roots, for the seed to grow.