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The Plowmen

"The plowmen plowed upon my back: long were the furrows they made." - Psalm 129:3

Does that sound like you and your life? As if you've been ridden over your entire life by everyone and everything and the only thing you have to show for it is long, deep furrows across your back? Ever feel like giving up? No matter what you do it doesn't ever seem to work out. It's become an exhausting battle just to live.

I know what that's like. I lived it too. You're being torn up, but to tell anyone is humiliating so you keep it in and sink more into yourself. If something good does happen you're on high alert because you know someone or something is going to come along and pull the rug out from under you.

You're not alone. You're not the only one who's been "plowed".

It's interesting that God often used references of farming to illustrate His teachings. Because most were farmers back then, He would use farming analogies because it was something the people could easily understand. In fact, He would break it down so good that eventually some leaders accused God of insulting their intelligence by speaking to them as if they were toddlers....

"Who is it He is trying to teach? To whom is He explaining His message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?" Isaiah 28:24

As you can imagine that didn't go over so well with God. Compared to Him, man isn't the sharpest tools in the shed. He spoke in ways using illustrations from their everyday life. If He didn't do that how could anyone have understood Him let alone obey Him?

Now days you throw an illustration of farming at our high tech society and people will look at you like you're an idiot. Most knowledge of farming goes are far as the tomatoes people have planted in their backyard. Maybe they used a shovel to break up the little patch of ground or a tiller. Start talking about plows, furrows, soil etc., and they're lost. If they can't buy a bag of "something" to fix it at Home Depot, then forget it.

Plowing was the first step in any crop. The ground had to be broken first. Without broken ground seeds couldn't be planted. Without seed there would be no harvest. Plowing was grueling work and took a lot of time. Farmers would be in their empty fields from sun up to sun down with their oxen and plows, breaking up hard soil to aerate it, make it soft and workable, to allow water to easily sink to the roots of future crops. They'd look out over the land and see nothing but hard, dry, cracked soil almost like cement. It must of seemed endless sometimes. It must have looked hopeless. What can grow from this rock hard stuff?

Many people seem to have the plowmen constantly rolling over them. They can't get away from them.

"When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field?" Isaiah 28:24-26

Some ground needs more plowing then others. Soil is different in every location. Some is easier to break up and some is more difficult. Some soil is good and overturns easy. Some is hard and resistant and the plowman has to continue to plow until it's soft and ready for planting, but the plowing doesn't take forever. No farmer spends all season plowing his fields no matter what the condition of the soil is. Eventually, through perseverance, he gets it the way he wants it

Sometimes we need more plowing then others. Sometimes we're like the hard, cracked soil (pride, arrogance, shame, guilt, hardness of heart, selfishness) and we have to be worked, sometimes worked over several times, before we're broken down into something that can be cultivated and fruitful. It's never easy. It's always painful and sometimes devastating, but it's necessary work. Are your furrows long and deep? Do you have awful scars? Instead of asking God why you're being plowed or have been, ask what can cultivated and harvested from those long deep furrows that the plowmen made. The plowmen in your life have dug those furrows, but God allowed it because He has a harvest planned to spring from them.

For more on how God allows and uses suffering for our benefit and His plans see:

Lazarus - Suffering Doesn't Mean God Hates You

Joseph - When We Suffer "Unfairly"

If You're Not Suffering Start Worrying


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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