Isaiah 5:1-2 “……My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
And He fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.”
Israel was God’s vineyard. He “planted” them…..expecting fruit.
For He had done all that was necessary so that they would bring forth fruit.
The fencing,…..to separate them to Himself….and away from the corruptions of the nations around them, by His laws.
Removing the stones,…..removing the inhabitants which were there……hinderances to receiving the grace through His Word, into their hearts.
He built a tower…..He sent leaders to watch over them.
He made a winepress….expecting fruit to flow from them….to give the joy of the knowledge of God….to others.
These were all external privileges…..means of coming close to Him….
….and opportunities for those blessings to be manifest out to the nations around them….and to the world.
They brought forth wild grapes…..bitter and unusable.
Isaiah 5:7 “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 judgement (discernment between good and evil in their dealings), but behold oppression;
For righteousness, but behold a cry.”
God goes on to tell of how their actions were going to send them into captivity.
He cries, “Woe, Woe, Woe….” (Isaiah 5:20-23)
Woe to them that call evil, good…and good, evil.
Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes….refusing God’s Word.
Woe to them that cause many to get drunk….on wine and money….giving bribes to get the wicked off….and prosecute the righteous.
Isaiah 5:24 “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as the dust:
Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.”
God sent them into captivity, to be servants and slaves of the heathen…..because the refused His good law…..because they refused His Word through righteous leaders and prophets.
That was Israel…. but there is another Vineyard.
John 15:1 “I am the True Vine, and My Father is the husbandman.”
This shows that God is now placing all His purpose in the One True Vine…..His Son, Christ Jesus….and all that belong to this Vine.
He has given us the privilege of being…..in Christ Jesus,…..as branches, HIs life flowing through us.
John 15:5 “I am the Vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”
The purpose for us here, is to abide in Him.
Some, He will have to “purge”….or trim the excess….that His life will bring forth fruit through us….to the full.
John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
(My mother used to have a grape vine….Concord grapes….that was on a line next to the garden. Year after year, it would sprout more branches, and less fruit….for the excess leaves took away the life from the fruit.
One year, my mother took her pruning shears and went out, in the fall, and cut that vine back, till only the main vine and a few main branches remained.
Frankly, I thought she had done it in…..but it came back and produced big, beautiful clusters of grapes, the next year.)
Sometimes, like my mother’s vine….we need to be trimmed of excess things….to get back to the relationship of Vine to branches.
(And I believe this is really where Israel failed….they refused to be purged and pruned….and so became leaves only.)
Christ is the Vine…..we are the branches…..surviving from the life coming from Him.
He gives us fruitfulness as we “abide” in Him.
This stresses the importance of relationship…..fellowship….and worship of Christ.
For our life is in Him….and Him alone.
God’s Vineyards are for the producing of fruit to His honor, glory, and use.
Israel failed to bring forth fruit to God….then. (Although one day they will)
Christ will never fail, and we are to be abiding in Him….and bringing forth the fruit of His Spirit.