Friday, October 30, 2009
We had a great day at Bible Study today.
We've been talking about God's discipline, about our own childhoods, about permissive parents, overly harsh parents, about motives and effects. And in the midst of it all, I find this passage from Isaiah 28 so comforting. . .
"Listen to me; listen as I plead! Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting it? Does he not finally plant his seeds for dill, cumin, wheat, barley and spelt, each in its own section of his land? The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding. He doesn't thresh all his crops the same way. a heavy sledge is never used on dill; rather it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin, instead it is beaten softly with a flail. Bread grain 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 almighty is a wonderful teacher and he gives the farmer great wisdom."
Okay, so why does Isaiah include this passage? Is it really about farming? I don't think so. In chapter 27:8 Isaiah says, "Lord we love to obey your laws, our heart's desire is to glorify your name."
I think it's about discipline. And I find some incredible truths in this passage. Let me list them:
1. God plants different crops in different types of soil. He doesn't plan to get the same exact crop out of each of us.
2. There is a season for everything. You don't crush the seed before the plant grows. There is a planting season (sowing) a growing season, and a harvest. THEN, there is a threshing season.
3. The point of the threshing is to get the good stuff OUT -- to separate the good stuff from the waste. It isn't to punish the seed. There is a good motive behind the threshing.
4. God uses no more force than is necessary as he brings out the good from the bad. I can expect him to discern how much I can stand, and to bring the good out tenderly, without bruising or hurting me.
5. As there are different things harvested from different crops (believers) there are also different threshings for the different crops. Thus, my threshing (discipline) won't look exactly like every one else. Mine will be custom chosen.
6. My father, my Daddy God, who gives wisdom to the farmer, has an infinite supply of wisdom. He will know EXACTLY how to get the good stuff out of my life.
It comforts me to know that my Daddy God doesn't act in anger. He doesn't have any motive except to bring out the good harvest in my life. He won't over do it, won't hurt me in the process.
Daddy disciplines with wisdom, keeping the end in mind, always aware of the fragility of the crop he is working with.
What a good Daddy we serve!
Has he disciplined you lately? How? How did you respond?