Daily Devotions – What Happened to the Vineyard?

 

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

Isaiah 5:1-7 (NIV)

5 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. 2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. 3 “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? 5 Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds
not to rain on it.” 7 The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

 

In this passage the nation of Israel is compared to a beautiful vineyard that has been planted by God with great skill and care.  But when the time for harvest came, the vines had not produced grapes that were useful for making good wine.   God had saved Israel from slavery in Egypt, planted them in the Promised Land, and expected them to be a nation that produced the fruit of righteousness, justice, mercy, and love.  Instead, their hearts were totally off track; they yielded “wild grapes”.  So, what did God do?  He removed His “hedge” of protection.  He stopped the upkeep of the vines and the soil.  He “let them go” and eventually a foreign nation invaded, wiped them out, and sent many of the “elites” into exile.  This is why Christmas is so unbelievable.  It is totally understandable for God to let us go when we reject Him.  But Christmas says that although God removed his “hedge” of protection from Israel, it was only for a little while.  Christmas tells us that instead of living in heaven where He could enjoy the protection, provision and all the blessings of being in a relationship with His Father, Jesus gave that up to pursue a renewed relationship with us (Phil. 2:5-11).  At Christmas, Jesus comes and becomes the true vine of God that produces the good fruit of justice and righteousness.  By faith we can be attached to Him and once again live under the protection and care of a loving Father.  By faith in the righteous vine that is Jesus we can begin to produce good fruit again.

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