June 18, 2020

Wild Grapes

"What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?..." Isaiah 5:4

"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. Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!" Isaiah 5:7-8

Isaiah 5

As a nation, Israel had everything going for it to succeed, but more importantly, for it to have a deep and close relationship with God, for it to be obedient to God.

But it brought forth wild grapes. The fruit of its doings was not pleasing to God--did not reflect God's work.

Does the fruit of my mouth and of my actions reflect the work of God done in my heart to bring Him glory, to bring Him joy, to demonstrate to the world His goodness, His kindness, His character?

When I whine and complain because I have not received some earthly benefit, I am producing wild grapes.
When I do not perform at the best of my ability, whatever task is set before me, I am producing wild grapes.
If I am not singing God's praise and glory and exalting Him for every good thing I receive, and even in every bad situation, I'm producing wild grapes.
If I chase after the praises of men or after worldly possessions or pleasure, I am producing wild grapes.
If I sin in any way and display a character contrary to God's, I am producing wild grapes.

And God's reaction?

Isaiah 5:5 He takes away protection

Isaiah 5:6 He takes away the tending or care--what is needed for the vineyard to prosper.

God looked for judgment and found oppression He looked for righteousness and found a shriek, an outcry.

Righteousness is faith it is acting on the understanding and belief that God's ways are right--that He, who created this world, who knows best how to operate in this world. Living in obedience to this demonstrates faith that believes God's sovereign right to set the laws of nature and the operation of life, and that to get the most out of a relationship with Him and out of the life He has given us, one must obey those laws of nature and of life He has told us to obey.

So when, we 'shriek' that we aren't getting what we want or that God's not what we want Him to be or that what He commands is not fair, we are not acting righteously (or demonstrating faith).

Does this mean we can't cry out to Him when we are tired or weak or afraid or angry or struggling in any way?

No. Not at all.

The Psalmists poured out their hearts to God, 'beat on their chests', if you will, before God. But in the end, they would sing God's praises, in the end, they would acknowledge God's sovereignty over the situation. (Psalm 55, 74, 77).

Thank you, Lord for this picture of a vineyard, of the plants and of the fruit.
Thank you for Your desire for me.
Thank you for the promise of rain next week.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11