28:23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the spelt in its place?
26 For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him.
27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin;
But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick,
And the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground;
Therefore he does not thresh it forever,
Break it with his cartwheel,
Or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts,
Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.
Yes the Bible is full of names and places that are not familiar. Yes it uses language and ways of conveying information that are foreign to our times and culture. However when God wants to illustrate points that need to be universally understood He gets very simple, using illustrations that cross barriers of time, space, language, and culture. The most common are farming illustrations. Everyone has to eat and the source of food is farming.
So what is the lesson here? Isaiah has been conveying the destruction of nations. God is literally going to overturn all the major powers of the entire middle eastern region. Then on a grander scale and looking down the ages God is ultimately going to overturn the entire earth. He did it once temporarily with the flood but the next time He does it, the change will be permanent. Sin will be no more. Death, disease, and destruction will be no more.
To illustrate all this in both a clear and hope filled way God brings our attention to the farmer. He goes out in the fall or early spring and turns the sod or soil over. However he doesn't keep doing. Plowing is not a perpetual or continual event. It has a time and place. It is a necessary step but the farmer moves on. He smooths the furrows. He prepares the soil for planting and then he plants.
Same with harvest. There are steps and one step leads to the next step.
Judah is entering one of the darkest and most difficult steps of her history. She is about to be plowed under and turned over. In the midst of the ordeal it will feel as though it will never end. It will seem like the plowing under will be infinitely continuous but it is not so. The next phase will come. Brighter better days are ahead.
Jesus compared the days leading up to His return as a woman in labour about to give birth. In the entire process of parenting no step is more intense or painful for a mother than labour and when in the midst of it, it isn't hard to imagine that it feels like it will never end. Thankfully every mother to be goes into the process knowing labour is coming but that it does end.
Recently I was talking to a mom who just had her third baby and she was telling us that immediately after he was born ( when the feel good hormone oxytocin was pumping through body) she said to her husband "I could do this again". The pain was over. The reward was in her arms. Peace was restored. Everything was as it was planned and hoped to be.
God wants us to be aware of the process. Mainly He wants us to know that the dark days of the plowing under and turning over as we transition from the kingdom of Satan to God's eternal kingdom will not go on forever. It will end and end gloriously. We will look up at our approaching King and declare with joy "This is our God. We have waited for Him and He will save us!"
Simple. Beautiful. Love Wins.