by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Parable of the Plowman (9 of 15)
Series: The Parables of the Old Testament
Clarence Macartney
Isaiah 28:23-29

This Parable of the Plowman follows the prophecy of judgment and chastisement upon Israel. The vanity of their trust in foreign alliances instead of upon the Lord will be demonstrated when their covenant with death has been annulled and their agreement with hell has fallen. The bed of human devices will be found shorter than the recreant nation can stretch itself on, and the covering of human counsels too narrow for the nation to wrap itself in.

Isaiah has heard the decree of destruction and pictures the overflowing scourge of judgment onrushing like a torrential river through the devoted land. He admits that this is a strange work for God to perform against His own people, and that the natural tendency of the nation will be to scoff against such a prophecy of destruction. The burden of their scoffing was not that the nation had no need for chastisement, nor that God had no power to judge, but that the destruction of the Holy City and the dispersion of the people would be in direct contradiction to His purpose and plan for the nation. Had not God chosen the nation and planted it like a vine?

Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt; Thou didst drive out the nations, and plantedst it. Thou preparedst room before it, And it took deep root and filled the land. The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, And the boughs thereof were like cedars of God. It sent out its branches to the sea, And its shoots unto the River. Why hast Thou broken down its walls, So that all they that pass by the way do pluck it? The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, And the wild beasts of the field feed upon it. That complaint of the psalmist, evidently written after the coming of the judgments which Isaiah foretold, shows how difficult it was for the Israelite to reconcile what had happened to the nation with God's plan and purpose for it as witnessed by His e ...

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