Use The Right Tools And Methods To Accomplish Any Purpose
23 Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
barley in its plot,
and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
and teaches him the right way.
27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
so one does not go on threshing it forever.
The wheels of a threshing cart may be rolled over it,
but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,
whose wisdom is magnificent.
God shows us in these verses that there is a very discernible method to His ways. He asks several rhetorical questions that would be been easily answered during the prophet’s time, as they were a primarily agricultural people. Perhaps we could rephrase the question for today’s world and say, “When we prepare concrete for pouring, do we mix it forever?” There is a time (chronos) and a season (kairos) for all things. Just as a farmer doesn’t work the field all season (he must eventually plant seeds or nothing will grow), God shows us what we should be doing as well
God teaches us the way we should go. Since everyone is a different part of the body, each of us must be instructed on what we are to do, where we are to do it, and when we are to do it. It is God who provides the instruction for each of these steps. We are to be submitted to the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus was, so that God can use us as His tools to accomplish His purposes. It is God who teaches us all of these things, and in doing so, prepares a generation of people who can help instruct and guide the next generation through their sovereignly assigned duties and tasks
Process and Procedure
God uses some very interesting agricultural examples to show us the necessity for using the right tools in the right way to accomplish our goals. Have you ever tried to insert a screw into wood with a hammer? I do not recommend ever trying this method. It is beyond frustrating, and will most likely damage whatever project you are working on. Everything has its proper tool and process to use it correctly. Though many of us, upon receiving brand new technology, just open it up and start using it, they come with instruction manuals to help guide us with their use, diagnose what is wrong when it doesn’t work right, and provide solutions to address any issues encountered.
When faced with difficulties as the plan of God unfolds, remember that God has given you an instruction manual – His holy word, the Bible. And when you need tech support, feel free to call upon God for assistance in prayer. Additionally, it never hurts to confirm what You have been shown with some of the experts in their field who have been down the path before you.
God uses the threshing of seeds as a prime example. If you were to use a sledge-hammer to attempt to extract the seeds of caraway, you would completely destroy the valuable part of the seed. Each seed requires its own method of extraction. Some use the same methods as others, but each requires a specific method. The people of that time would have recognized this, and understood the greater underlying spiritual truth that God is revealing to us – that God knows EXACTLY how to handle each and every situation that we encounter.
God has a perfect plan. His plan was crafted before the first matter in the universe was created. His plan was thought out and crafted before time was even a construct. Each and every detail of His creation was laid out and examined, perfectly placed, and is being perfectly executed. Nothing escaped His attention, and God accounted for every contingency. Even the issue of sin was taken into account, and the remedy to bring that which would be lost to sin back in harmony with the Creator was carefully planned, and when implemented, was perfectly executed.
God shows us, through His creation and the fulfillment of all of the prophecies that He has provided to us, that we can trust Him implicitly. God is incapable of failing, and His perfect plan is working exactly according to His plan and purpose. What appears to us to be chaos, setbacks, and failure is merely a launching pad for circumstances that will bring about even greater glory to God.
God reveals to us through His perfection – the perfect display of His character – that He has all wisdom. We can trust in God, for God is omniscient – He knows all things. Knowledge, however, is not wisdom. God, however, is all-wise. Seeing all things perfectly without the lens of sin to distort reality from His perfect gaze, God has perfect wisdom to match His perfect intellect and knowledge. And when we look back over how our small part of His larger story plays out, we begin to see the magnificent wisdom of the Lord God Almighty, and how His perfect plan is being perfectly executed.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: What lessons are God trying to teach me about His perfect plan and the part He has assigned for me to accomplish?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You reveal Your character in how You treat each and every one of us here on Earth. Thank You for Your continued patience and prodding, and for revealing Yourself through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for revealing Yourself through Your word. And thank You for providing me an opportunity to play a part in Your perfect plan. Show me, Father, what You would have me do. Call me, equip me, and strengthen me to do all that You desire to accomplish. Help me to remember that You are sovereign in all things, and that my perception of loss and difficulty in events and circumstances that are painful and difficult are all part of Your plan to bring about Your perfect will in all things. Guard my heart against impatience, pride, and bitterness, as trials and tribulations abound in this life. Give me peace and joy in knowing that You have everything under Your control. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?