A Cornerstone in Zion.
14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15 Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter";
16 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'Whoever believes will not be in haste.'
17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter."
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on, and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim; as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused; to do his deed—strange is his deed! And to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.
23 Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech.
24 Does he who plows for sowing plow continually? Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border?
26 For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him.
27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.
28 Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it.
29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.
Journal: Today we conclude this "first woe" proclaimed by Isaiah, the woe of a "fallen church." However, it is interesting to note that Chapter 28 ends on a promising note. That is, one is not relegated to forever "plowing" [or being plowed], but is allowed to move on to "sowing" and "reaping." ["Does he who plows for sowing plow continually . . . does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border . . . no, he does not thresh it forever . . ."] The analogy relates to the discipline by God of God's children, His church. The plowing may very well be discipline and rebuke, but He will not plow us forever. Further, the sowing and reaping is not done indiscriminately.
I have seven children, and my communication with each varies greatly. Luke is highly observant of his surroundings. Alex is emotionally behind about three years. Song is dogmatic. Vera is moody, with down syndrome unpredictability. Anna is highly sensitive. Emma tests the limits, with down syndrome sweetness. Ella is discovering life, through down syndrome eyes. The differences in each child lead to different approaches and different outcomes. So it is with God and His children. ["26 For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him. 27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. 28 Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. 29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom."] While my approach and outcomes with my children are inherently imperfect, God's approach towards us will always be exactly what we need at the moment. His outcome is to produce a perfect harvest of grace. It may be sickness with which we deal. It may be financial hardship. It may be overwhelming circumstances. What it will not be is discipline that is random or that is left to chance. He thinks of us all day and all night, and His thoughts lead to our being plowed, sowed and reaped. This was His approach with apostate Judah. This is His approach with me. Praise God that He does not leave His children to their own way! [". . . He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom."]
Heard 'Round the House:
This comes under the category of losing one's mind prior to hitting forty. It makes me think of the song lyric "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64 . . ." [Of course, I'll be 70 when Jill is 64, so I might not be of much help.] This is a conversation I had with my lovely wife over the weekend, relating to something with glass being broken in the house.
John: You're kidding me! How did that happen?
Jill: First of all, it can be fixed.
[John looking at Jill]
John: Well, most of the time when someone says "first of all," there is at least a "second of all" involved, if not even more stuff . . .
Jill: What was I talking about?