Today’s Passage – Isaiah 5 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Deuteronomy 32:4
Read the “0731 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? … For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” (Isaiah 5:4, 7)
Our church has a lot of property, most of which is undeveloped. Many years ago now, a couple from our church asked if they could use a small patch of that land to plant a community garden. At first I was a little hesitant, but I agreed to let these folks plant their little garden as long as it didn’t cost the church too much money, and as long as it didn’t require any extra work from me. I had to admit, I was fascinated watching the whole process, from the cultivation of the ground to the actual planting. In the years we had that garden, we actually reaped quite a bit of vegetables. Personally, I was a big fan of the little cherry tomatoes and so was my grandson, Jaxon. Whenever he was at the church, we always walked back to the garden to eat a few. One day, I was out in the garden with one of the men and he noticed a rather large green caterpillar on one of the tomato plants, very similar to the one pictured above. After careful inspection, he discovered another one on another plant. If left unchecked these pests would have completely consumed all of the plant and our little garden would have been ruined.
In our text today, we read about God’s vineyard, the Nation of Israel. God found his vineyard in ruins, and He asked the question: “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” That is a good question. What more could God have done? He gave them everything that they needed to thrive as a nation, and for a while, they did just that; but eventually sin, like those nasty caterpillars, crept in and destroyed the vineyard.
Though this passage is written for and about Israel, I believe that there are some great principles here that we can apply today. I believe applications can be made to our individual Christian lives and also to our families, and even to the local churches. Each one of these areas are a type of vineyard that belongs to the Lord. What can we do with all that God has given us in order to thrive and produce the fruit that God wants to produce through us?
1 We must use good seed. God has given us the Word of God. Why would we want to use the corruptible seed of man’s philosophies. Years ago, I made the decision that my life was going to be established with and directed by the Bible.
2 We must weed. Weeds and pests will overtake the gardens of our lives if we allow them to. In our Christian walk, many distraction can creep in, along with sinful things and false doctrines that will steal all of our energy and redirect our focus so that we cannot produce healthy fruit.
3 We must feed. Good nutrients and plenty of water will cause a garden to thrive. As Christians, we must feed daily on the Word of God, and in our churches, we must make sure that we are providing plenyt of opportunities for church members to come and dine on a healthy diet of Bible doctrine.
If God’s vineyard fails today, it will not be His fault. He has given us all that we need to thrive and produce abundant, healthy fruit.
Posted in Thoughts from Isaiah by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.