Isaiah 28:29
This also comes from the LORD of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent wisdom.
A Feast for FaithIsaiah 28:29
God Wonderful in Counsel, and Excellent in WorkingIsaiah 28:29
God's Council Chamber and WorkshopIsaiah 28:29
God's Presidency Over All ThingsR. S. Storrs, D. D.Isaiah 28:29
God's Work in Men's Minds and WillsR. Tuck Isaiah 28:29
Jehovah Wonderful in CounselSermon by the Monday ClubIsaiah 28:29
The Almighty the All-MethodicalProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 28:29
The Husbandman Taught by GodC. S. Bird, M. A.Isaiah 28:29
The Wonderfulness of God's CounselHomilistIsaiah 28:29
AgricultureF. Standfast.Isaiah 28:23-29
Beneficent PloughingJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 28:23-29
Breaking ClodsD. Macaulay, M. A.Isaiah 28:23-29
Divine DiscriminationW. Clarkson Isaiah 28:23-29
God's Processes of Moral and Spiritual HusbandryE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 28:23-29
Inspiration in Common LifeW. L. Watkinson.Isaiah 28:23-29
Interdependence of the Man of Leisure and the Son of ToilF. Standfast.Isaiah 28:23-29
Physical Husbandry the Effect and Emblem of Divine TeachingHomilistIsaiah 28:23-29
Proverbial LoreE. Johnson Isaiah 28:23-29
Spiritual HusbandryF. Standfast.Isaiah 28:23-29
The Discreet PloughmanIsaiah 28:23-29
The Parable of the Ploughman and the ThresherS. Cox, D. D.Isaiah 28:23-29
The PloughmanIsaiah 28:23-29
The Principal WheatIsaiah 28:23-29
The Spiritual PowerA. Gray, M. A.Isaiah 28:23-29
The Value of Agricultural LabourF. Standfast.Isaiah 28:23-29
The Voice of God in the Tillage of the FieldE. Medley, B. A.Isaiah 28:23-29
Chastisement not PleasantIsaiah 28:26-29
Chastising with JudgmentR. H. Roberts, B. A.Isaiah 28:26-29
How the Lord Threshes UsT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 28:26-29
Moral ThreshingT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 28:26-29
The Higher Nature Requires the More ForceF. Standfast.Isaiah 28:26-29
The Need and Measure of Afflictive DispensationsB. P. Buddicom, M. A.Isaiah 28:26-29
The Wisdom of God in DisciplineJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 28:26-29
The, Ploughman Taught of GodF. Standfast.Isaiah 28:26-29
ThreshingIsaiah 28:26-29
TribulationR. H. Robert, B. A.Isaiah 28:26-29
TribulationJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 28:26-29
The literal translation of the last clause of this verse is, "He makes counsel wonderful, he makes wisdom great." The husbandman's treatment of his crop, no less than his preparation of the soil, is a dictate of experience under Divine teaching. But these things are not chiefly matters of hand and arm; they are matters of thought, mind, judgment, will, decision. The handicraft in a farm is the carrying out of decisions of mind and resolves of will. This is true of all the business life of men; the bodily activities follow upon mental activities, and we are reminded that God is at the very beginnings, the secret sources of things, presiding over movement of thought and impulse of will. The consideration of this topic may be used to correct our constant disposition to close up parts of our being and our life from God, giving him access only to some of them. We may consider -

I. THE MAKER OF MAN'S MIND AND WILL SURELY KNOWS THEM. The thought of our bodies, set by their five senses in relation to the material world, was altogether the thought of God. But it is harder to realize that the endowment of a mental nature is also a thought, of God. It is harder because our mental nature is subject to growth; and we can separate the idea of growth from God. And it is yet harder for us to realize that the partial independence of the creature, in the trust of free-will, is also a thought of God, because that very independence leads us to shake off all sense of God. Yet the fact remains that he made us, and he knows us altogether.

II. THE MAKER OF MAN'S MIND AND WILL SURELY CONTROLS THEM. We must recognize that both mind and will are under strict limitations. Men think and think on, but at length the brain-agent breaks down, or they get beyond themselves, and talk vague folly. And to the most strong-willed, the authoritative voice presently comes, saying, "Thus far shalt thou go, but no further." Constantly man cries, "I would, but I cannot, for God holds me in."

III. THE MAKER OF MAN'S MIND AND WILL SURELY INSPIRES THEM. This is his gracious and helpful relation to them; and this depends on the attitude in which men place themselves towards him. In conclusion, show what the right attitude is; and what hinders us from taking it; and how the hindrance may be overcome. This will lead to a declaration of the gospel message. - R.T.

The Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel.
Let us consider this point as related to —

I. THE BIBLE AND ITS CONTENTS. This Book, to the secular world, is a perpetual puzzle. What amazing power it has exerted in the world, and what exalting energy! Yet it is the literature of a people comparatively insignificant, to whom we are not drawn as we have been toward the august grandeur of Roman genius, or to the poetic and philosophic Greek. It is the oldest of books, large, obscure in some things, but bold in its challenges to geologist, astronomer, and men of science; provoking discussion at a thousand points. Think of the mysteries of doctrine — the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the future life — what can we do? A tone of authority over our convictions and judgments is assumed. The thoughts of the Bible are God's thoughts.

II. THE REDEMPTION OF CHRIST. This is too vast, grand, marvellous to be understood without this illuminating truth.

III. IN THE SPIRITUAL SPHERE, in the soul of man. We act on man's feelings through his judgment, or upon his judgment through his sensibilities. Yet how feebly! But all these are open to the royal, inspiring Spirit of God.

IV. THE METHOD AND DEVELOPMENT OF PROVIDENCE IN THE WORLD. Gathering up some of the results of this survey, we may see —

1. How Christendom is builded. Coleridge speaks fitly of "the miracle of Christendom," for the tendency of society, unilluminated by the Gospel, ever has been downward.

2. We should read the future in the same light. If God be behind all the movements of history, there is no room for discouragement. At important crises He will interfere, putting forth silent forces, perhaps, but terrific in energy.

3. There is a city of God for me. His promises, thick as the fragments of the jasper floor, will all be redeemed.

(R. S. Storrs, D. D.)

The context presents to us physical husbandry in two very different aspects.

(1)As the effect of God's teaching.

(2)As the emblem of God's teaching.God's counsel is wonderful in all His departments of action as Creator, Sovereign, and Redeemer. Our illustration shall be taken from the nature, formation, and propagation of the redemptive system.

I. ITS NATURE IS WONDERFUL. What is it? One word, perhaps, will best describe it. Reconciliation. To see its wonderfulness think of four things.

1. That the reconciliation originates with the offended party.

2. The offended party, who seeks the reconciliation, is infinitely superior to the offender.

3. The offended party, who is infinitely superior, offers reconciliation to the lowest class of His foes. There are two great classes of enemies to God — fallen angels and fallen men; men are the inferior. Yet He passed by the angels and took hold upon the seed of Abraham.

4. The offended party, who is infinitely superior, offers reconciliation to the lowest classes of HIS foes at a most stupendous sacrifice.

II. ITS FORMATION IS WONDERFUL. How is this system of reconciliation formed? There are two things as to the mode which show the wonderfulness of the arrangement.

1. Its gradualness. We, when we have a work to do, to which we attach importance, hurry at it, and are impatient for its accomplishment; but God, to ripen this scheme, took four thousand long years.

2. Its instruments. When we have a work to do, we select the best men we can get. God employed the agency of wicked men in the working out of His great reconciling plan. "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," etc.

III. ITS PROPAGATION IS WONDERFUL. Three things show the wonderfulness of its propagation.

1. The character of the persons to whom its propagation was first entrusted. To whom did He commit the ministry of this wonderful scheme! To the magnates, or the literati of His age? No, to a few poor fishermen.

2. The class of persons to whom it was first offered. The greatest sinners on earth; the sinners at Jerusalem, who imbrued their hands in the blood of His only begotten Son.

3. The pressing of it on the attention of those who frequently reject it.


(1) The sentiment of the text on the surface is, that the art and science and skill of man, are the gifts of God.(2) Ii God thus instructs man in wisdom, how wise must He be Himself!


1. God does not work without a plan.

2. This plan is wonderful in itself, and is found to be excellent when it is carried out.(1) This is illustrated in nature.(2) In providence.(3) In personal experience.(4) In the great economy of redemption.(5) In the Gospel. This Gospel is suited to the most abject and depraved. Many preachers have had to confess the uselessness of mere moral preaching; one of them said he preached up honesty till his parish swarmed with thieves.(6) The experience d every Christian k, in some respects, different from the experience of every other, but it is the result of God's plan.(7) The use of instrumentality. It is a wonderful design of God to use one man to be the means of the conversion of another, because the man who does the work is as much benefited as the man upon whom the work is done.(8) The grandest illustration of all will be when, at the last, God's counsels shall be perfectly fulfilled.


1. I have a word to say to those unconverted persons who have some desire after salvation. I would to God that, seeing His counsel is so wondrous, you would agree to it. It is in His counsel that sinners shall be saved by grace through believing in Christ.

2. Another word to you, the people of God. Agree to this in your own particular case. You say, "I cannot understand God's dealings with me." As if it were expected that you should! But you also add, "I cannot believe that God has good designs in it." John said that if a man did not believe God, he made God a liar, and so you who do not believe in God's wisdom make Him a fool! Do you not shrink from that?

3. I now desire to speak to my fellow workers. When we are going to work for God do not let us be in such a mighty hurry. Let us have a well-formed plan, and let it be God's plan.

4. When we know God's plan we must carry it out.

5. Expect singular assistance.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Lord of hosts is seen by the enlightened eye, first of all in His council chamber, and then in His great workshop. He is "wonderful in counsel"; He is "excellent in working."

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Some may remember the story of a Rugby public school boy, who heard when studying at Oxford of the sudden death of Dr. Arnold, his old headmaster, and lamented it bitterly, as indeed everyone who had known him did, but turned to a companion who sat by, and remarked that, after all, he perhaps owed more personal benefit to a dearly loved school friend, then dead, than to his master's influence. "You did not know, then," said his companion, "that Dr. Arnold chose him for you, and gave him to you purposely for your sake?" This was a revelation to the youth which completely overcame him, and after which he was ready to fall down and worship his good headmaster's memory. A strong feeling often exists in a manly, vigorous farmer and hard working men employed under him to this effect at harvest time: "We raised those good crops, we raised and thatched those fine stacks, and we deserve what we have got." Yes, you did, replies the text, for Divine providence taught and instructed you.

(C. S. Bird, M. A.)

This last word of the chapter is very expressive. It literally means furtherance, help, salvation, and then the true wisdom or insight which ensures these: the wisdom which carries things through. It splendidly sums up Isaiah's Gospel to the Jews, cowering like dogs before the coming calamity: God is not mere force or vengeance His judgments are not chaos. But "He is wonderful in counsel," and all His ways have "furtherance" or "salvation" for their end.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

Sermon by the Monday Club.
In one of the squares of the Public Garden in Boston is a unique granite monument On it are several devices symbolic of its design. On one side are the words, "To commemorate the fact that the inhaling of ether produces insensibility to pain; first proved to the world at the Massachusetts General Hospital in October A.D. 1856." On another side is a quotation from Isaiah, "This also cometh from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." On another side are the Revelator's words, "There shall be no more pain." The monument is a testimony that relief from suffering is an outcome of the Gospel, and that the means thereto are from the Lord.

(Sermon by the Monday Club.)

When you see a plan in an architect's office that is very new and very pretty to look at, you say, "Ah! nothing has been done with it"; but when you see a plan that is smudgy and torn and almost broken through where it has been folded, you know that the man has done something with it. When Dr. Guthrie wanted his ragged schools founded, he called on a certain minister, who said, "Well, you know, Mr. Guthrie, there is nothing very new in your scheme; I and Mr. So-and-so have been thinking over a similar plan to yours for the last twenty years" "Oh, yes," said Dr. Guthrie, "I dare say; but you have never carried it out." So some people are always thinking over some very fine plan of their own; but while the grass grows the steed starves. Now me God who plans, also works.

( C. H. Spurgeon.).

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