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Isaiah 28:29

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

This also cometh … - That is, these various devices for threshing his grain comes from the Lord no less than the skill with which he tills his land. (see Isaiah 28:26).

And excellent in working - Or rather, who magnifies (חגדיל chigdiyl ) his wisdom (תוּשׁיה tûshı̂yâh ). This word properly means wisdom, or understanding Job 11:6; Job 12:16; Job 26:3; Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 8:14; Proverbs 18:1. The idea of the prophet is, that God, who had so wisely taught the farmer, and who had instructed him to use such various methods in his husbandry, would also be himself wise, and would pursue similar methods with his people. He would not always pursue the same unvarying course, but would vary his dispensations as they should need, and as would best secure their holiness and happiness. We see:

1. The reason of afflictions. It is for the same cause which induces the farmer to employ various methods on his farm.

2. We are not to expect the same unvarying course in God‘s dealings with us. It would be as unreasonable as to expect that the farmer would be always plowing, or always threshing.

3. We are not to expect always the same kind of afflictions. The farmer uses different machines and modes of threshing, and adapts them to the nature of the grain. So God uses different modes, and adapts them to the nature, character, and disposition of his people. One man requires one mode of discipline, and another another. At one time we need one mode of correction to call us from sin and temptation; at another another. We may lay it down as a general rule, that “the divine judgments are usually in the line of our offences;” and by the nature of the judgment we may usually ascertain the nature of the sin. If a man‘s besetting sin is “pride,” the judgment will usually be something that is suited to humble his pride; if it be covetousness, his property may be removed, or it may be made a curse; if it be undue attachment to children or friends, they may be removed.

4. God will not crush or destroy his people. The farmer does not crush or destroy his grain. In all the various methods which he uses, he takes care not to pursue it too far, and not to injure the grain. So with God‘s dealings with his people. His object is not to destroy them, but it is to separate the chaff from the wheat; and he will afflict them only so much as may be necessary to accomplish this. He will not be always bruising his people, but will in due time remit his strokes - just as the thresher does.

5. We should, therefore, bear afflictions and chastisements with patience. God deals with us in mercy - and the design of all his dispensations toward us in prosperity and adversity; in sickness and in health; in success and in disappointment, is to produce the richest and most abundant fruits of righteousness, and to prepare us to enter into his kingdom above.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The husbandman applies to his calling with pains and prudence, in all the works of it according to their nature. Thus the Lord, who has given men this wisdom, is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in his working. As the occasion requires, he threatens, corrects, spares, shows mercy, or executes vengeance. Afflictions are God's threshing instruments, to loosen us from the world, to part between us and our chaff, and to prepare us for use. God will proportion them to our strength; they shall be no heavier than there is need. When his end is answered, the trials and sufferings of his people shall cease; his wheat shall be gathered into the garner, but the chaff shall be burned with unquenchable fire.
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 326

He who taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden, would instruct men today. There is wisdom for him who holds the plow, and plants and sows the seed. The earth has its concealed treasures, and the Lord would have thousands and tens of thousands working upon the soil who are crowded into the cities to watch for a chance to earn a trifle; in many cases that trifle is not turned into bread, but is put into the till of the publican, to obtain that which destroys the reason of man formed in the image of God. Those who will take their families into the country, place them where they have fewer temptations. The children who are with parents that love and fear God, are in every way much better situated to learn of the Great Teacher, who is the source and fountain of wisdom. They have a much more favorable opportunity to gain a fitness for the kingdom of heaven. Send the children to schools located in the city, where every phase of temptation is waiting to attract and demoralize them, and the work of character building is tenfold harder for both parents and children. FE 326.1

The earth is to be made to give forth its strength; but without the blessing of God it could do nothing. In the beginning, God looked upon all that He had made, and pronounced it very good. The curse was brought upon the earth in consequence of sin. But shall this curse be multiplied by increasing sin? Ignorance is doing its baleful work. Slothful servants are increasing the evil by their lazy habits. Many are unwilling to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, and they refuse to till the soil. But the earth has blessings hidden in her depths for those who have courage and will and perseverance to gather her treasures. Fathers and mothers who possess a piece of land and a comfortable home are kings and queens. FE 326.2

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Ellen G. White
Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 355

“The school to be established in Australia should bring the question of industry to the front, and reveal the fact that physical labor has its place in God's plan for every man, and that His blessing will attend it. The schools established by those who teach and practise the truth for this time, should be so conducted as to bring fresh and new incentives into all kinds of practical labor. There will be much to try the educators, but a great and noble object has been gained when students shall feel that love for God is to be revealed, not only in the devotion of heart and mind and soul, but in the apt, wise appropriation of their strength. Their temptations will be far less; from them by precept and example a light will radiate amid the erroneous theories and fashionable customs of the world.... LS 355.1

“The question may be asked, How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plow, and driveth the oxen?—By seeking her as silver, and searching for her as for hid treasures. ‘For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.’ ‘This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.’ LS 355.2

“He who taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden, would instruct men today. There is wisdom for him who holds the plow, and plants and sows the seed. The earth has its concealed treasures, and the Lord would have thousands and tens of thousands working upon the soil who are crowded into the cities to watch for a chance to earn a trifle. In many cases that trifle is not turned into bread, but is put into the till of the publican [saloon-keeper], to obtain that which destroys the reason of man formed in the image of God. Those who will take their families into the country, place them where they have fewer temptations. The children who are with parents that love and fear God, are in every way much better situated to learn of the Great Teacher, who is the source and fountain of wisdom. They have a much more favorable opportunity to gain a fitness for the kingdom of heaven.” Special Testimonies On Education, 84-104. LS 355.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 539

In this matter, genius, logic, and eloquence will not avail. Those who have a humble, trusting, contrite heart, God accepts, and hears their prayer; and when God helps, all obstacles will be overcome. How many men of great natural abilities and high scholarships have failed when placed in positions of responsibility, while those of feebler intellect, with less favorable surroundings, have been wonderfully successful. The secret was: The former trusted to themselves, while the latter united with Him who is wonderful in counsel and mighty in working to accomplish what He will. 4T 539.1

Their work being always urgent, it is difficult for some to secure time for meditation and prayer; but this they should not fail to do. The blessing of heaven, obtained by daily supplication, will be as the bread of life to the soul and will cause them to increase in moral and spiritual strength, like a tree planted by the river of waters, whose leaf will be always green and whose fruit will appear in due time. 4T 539.2

Some have made a serious mistake in neglecting to attend the public worship of God. The privileges of divine service will be as beneficial to them as to others, and are fully as essential. They may be unable to avail themselves of these privileges as often as do many others. Physicians will frequently be called upon the Sabbath to visit the sick and may be obliged to make it a day of exhausting labor. Such labor to relieve the suffering was pronounced by our Saviour a work of mercy and no violation of the Sabbath. But those who regularly devote their Sabbaths to writing or labor, making no special change, harm their own souls, give to others an example that is not worthy of imitation, and do not honor God. 4T 539.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 199-200

In the humble round of toil, the very weakest, the most obscure, may be workers together with God and may have the comfort of His presence and sustaining grace. They are not to weary themselves with busy anxieties and needless cares. Let them work on from day to day, accomplishing faithfully the task that God's providence assigns, and He will care for them. He says: MH 199.1

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, A.R.V.; 4:7. MH 199.2

The Lord's care is over all His creatures. He loves them all and makes no difference, except that He has the most tender pity for those who are called to bear life's heaviest burdens. God's children must meet trials and difficulties. But they should accept their lot with a cheerful spirit, remembering that for all that the world neglects to bestow, God Himself will make up to them in the best of favors. MH 199.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 314

Skill in the common arts is a gift from God. He provides both the gift and wisdom to use the gift aright. When He desired a work done on the tabernacle He said, “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.” Exodus 31:2, 3. Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord said, “Give ye ear, and hear My voice; hearken, and hear My speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cumin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. CT 314.1

“For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cumin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cumin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” Isaiah 28:23-29. CT 314.2

God dispenses His gifts as it pleases Him. He bestows one gift upon one, and another gift upon another, but all for the good of the whole body. It is in God's order that some shall be of service in one line of work, and others in other lines—all working under the selfsame Spirit. The recognition of this plan will be a safeguard against emulation, pride, envy, or contempt of one another. It will strengthen unity and mutual love. CT 314.3

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