July 10, 2017. Isaiah 5-8.
What does it take for a garden to produce a good crop? Isaiah 5 begins with a parable of a man and his vineyard. It was planted with the best vines, on fertile land, and cleared of stones. He watched over the vineyard and created a winepress in anticipation for the harvest, but when it came time to go bring in the grapes, he found only bad fruit.
The reason he found only bad fruit, was because the plants just were not producing the way they should have. The Lord used this parable to describe His relationship with the people of Judah:
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.
You are a vineyard of God as well. He has planted you with love and care and given you all the blessings and necessities you need to live a life that is pleasing and acceptable to Him, bearing eternal fruit. It is up to you to take all those ingredients and put them to work. There are so many things that can distract you from growing and becoming healthy.
In this day and age, so all the information you could possibly ever want or need is at your fingertips, which is an incredible thing but it also makes it easier and easier to rely on the world for all of your answers and to put you in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Because let’s be honest, a few hours browsing the internet will convince you that everything can kill you, the earth is about to blow up, and those jeans you bought last week are out of style this week.
It’s a tough world we’re living in, but here is what God has to say about it:
11 This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:
12 “Do not call conspiracy
everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
and do not dread it.
13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread.
14 He will be a holy place
So do all the research and web browsing you want, but never let that become your compass for living life. Grow in love, bear fruit, and live fearlessly as you chase after the Creator. You are a precious vineyard, you is tenderly cared for by a masterful gardener. Storms and other forces may test your strength, but establish the strong roots necessary to remain steadfast.