Song of the Vineyard
Scripture reading for July 19th: Isaiah 5-8
Isaiah continued calling out the sins of God’s people and telling of the coming judgment. Prophets must keep an open ear to the Lord and maintain the ability to communicate clearly with His people. They are not always well-received because of the message that they must give.
Isaiah sings a song to the Israelites to help them hear the message. Isaiah 5:1-7 is called the song of the vineyard. In this song, God uses the analogy of planting a vineyard, setting up a watchtower in it, and cutting out a wine press to process the grapes. He had done all that was necessary to develop a fruitful vineyard but when God looked for fruit, it yielded only bad fruit. He was furious and decided to take away his care from this choice planting.
“The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of His delight. And He looked for justice, but saw only bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.” (Isaiah 5:7) Israel was the vineyard in this song. God was angry with their lack of fruit. They were not responding to God’s careful cultivation and the watchfulness of the prophets. They were supposed to produce a crop of justice and righteousness, but all God could find was bloodshed and violence.
The fruit of God’s vine was bad. Isaiah pronounced “woe” over those who were greedy for land and houses. God spoke to him of the destruction of the great houses and mansions of those who would be judged. Those who were drunkards and were self-indulgent would also reap woe. They forgot God and neglected His work. “Therefore My people will go into exile for their lack of understanding; their men of rank will die of hunger and their masses will be parched with thirst.” (Isaiah 5:13)
Jesus Christ told His followers that He was the true Vine and they were the branches. His Father was the gardener and He would cut off any branch that did not bear fruit. He would prune all fruitful branches to maximize fruitfulness. (John 15:1-7) His followers must remain in Him in order to produce fruit. Jesus probably got this analogy from Isaiah and used it to encourage and warn His followers. Are you abiding in the True Vine today and is the fruit of your life good and abundant?