Don’t blame your tools – Isaiah 28

If you’ve just joined us or haven’t visited for a while, hello and welcome 🙂 You might want to have a quick read of  “Isaiah and Me” or “The Isaiah Disclaimer.” They’ll give you a bit of background to this short series I’m focusing on at the moment. Sharing a few thoughts on my time reading the Book of Isaiah.

Hard going as it was at times, I ploughed through the chapters and was writing notes as I went. It was more of the same – disobedience, punishment and glimpses of the mercy to come.

I got to Chapter 28 and was praying as I read. As I mentioned before, I was asking God to teach me through Isaiah; to answer specific issues I’d been seeking Him about. One of the issues that troubled me was my work in the church.

Self doubt comes in waves; my writing, my day job, my work in church, my weight/eating, how awful I am in general, then it swings back around to writing and does another circuit. When I got to chapter 28, I was thinking about service to the church and the people; the usual doubts filling my mind. Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Did I say too much, or was it too little, or unclear? Could I have tried harder, or visited longer, or been nicer, or been firmer? How do I know if I’m getting it right?

I was reading through the verses of chp 28, trying to work out if these words could speak to how I was feeling. Then I read this, from the New Living Translation…

Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention. Isaiah 28:23

So I stopped. I prayed a bit, saying sorry for not listening. I sat in quiet, took a few deep breaths, then I continued reading from v.24

“Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds— black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat— each in its proper way, and each in its proper place?
The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding.
A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail. Grain for bread is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it. He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn’t pulverize it.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom. Isaiah 28:24-29 NLT

I almost cried. Actually I think I did cry a little. I felt so relieved.

There are seasons for each stage of farming. Preparing ground, sowing, harvesting… Each seed has its time and place to be sown. Each crop has an appropriate tool for harvesting. Some crops just need a gentle tap, others need a stronger approach. The farmer is given wisdom by God not to use the wrong tool at the wrong time.

I have been trying to work it out myself. Where as I should only be relying on the teaching and wisdom of ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ I’m not saying I won’t get anything wrong, but I have peace about it now. I’m not so tormented about what to do next and where and when and with who. I just need to ask him for his wisdom.

Every time I examined my service I pulverised it! God wouldn’t do that to me, so I shouldn’t do it to myself!

photo credit: faungg’s photos Harvesting Sugarcane via photopin (license)

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