Sunday, May 24, 2009


I've been contemplating Isaiah 28:23-29 this morning. On first glance, it seems to be fairly non-teaching, just a text about farming and how farmers are taught wisely by God to know what to do with each crop and how to grow them. It's deeper than that though.

Jesus spoke about farming while He was here. Two instances in particular come to mind - Luke 8:4-15 when He teaches the parables of the seeds; and John 4:34-38 where He is speaking to the disciples about the "fields" being ready to harvest.

They tied together in my heart as I was reading this morning.

God prepares my heart to hear His word by plowing it, turning it over and loosening it up so that the seeds can take root, drink water and grow. When soil is hard and packed down, the seeds cannot penetrate the ground, the water runs off the top and seeds that do make it into the ground cannot grow easily.

Once the soil of my heart has been loosened, plowed up, then God can plant His seeds in me. The seeds can be almost anything - repentance, truth, justice, mercy, love, patience, faith, hope, joy, trust... the list goes on. Then He waters them, weeds them and tends to them to make sure they have the best growing opportunity. To ensure my heart has everything it needs to flourish and prosper under His care. He does not walk away and come back to see what grew, He carefully tends the fields until it is time for the harvest. Sometimes, the seeds don't "take". Sometimes weeds spring up and crowd out some of the seeds, but He doesn't give up on me. For the next growing season, He will plant the seeds again.

At the right time, when the fields are perfectly ripe, then He will come in and harvest the crop. After the harvest comes the threshing. Interestingly enough, Isaiah points out that each harvest is treated differently. black cumin & cumin are gently threshed with a light stick or a flail - they cannot be beaten harshly or it ruins the grain. Grain for bread (wheat, etc.) is threshed under wheels, but it too is not beaten "pulverized".

The promise is that He will not destroy me while He grows in me the good things that I need. He knows the differences between each of us and knows what each heart needs to grow and to be right with Him. We can trust our hearts to Him because He knows what we need and will never destroy or damage us. If we are wheat, we will be threshed under a wheel, if we are cumin, under a flail or light stick.

It is safe to let God do a good work in me. It may not be totally painless, but it is safe. I will come out on the other end without all the excess baggage or protective shell, free to live, love and serve Him. That is what I want. What about you?

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