Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Isaiah chapter 5:1-7

Isaiah 5 starts with the prophet singing a song for God, his beloved. It is not a love song. It is an analogy of the Lord's relationship with His people, Israel. Isaiah aligns himself with the Lord in the song. He makes it clear that his beloved is not at fault. His beloved did everything He could to secure a healthy, beautiful, fruitful vineyard and all the Lord got was wildness, unfruitfulness and shriveled connections to Him.

 Verse 5:2 says "He dug all around" and removed all the stones. Palestine is a very rocky place. To properly cultivate the ground you must remove a great deal of stones. The people that Isaiah was speaking to knew this. Where I live, we have a very similar problem the ground is full of rocks and stones and small boulders.  The rocks seem to grow whenever it rains and everywhere you dig, you have to expect to run into rocks. It's maddening. Here in the text, Isaiah is making it clear that the Lord had "dug all around" just to get rid of the rocks. 

  He got rid of the hard, heavy obstacles that would have kept their lives from being fruitful. In the literal farm land of Jerusalem, the farmers worked very hard to remove stones from their fields. In 2Kings 3:19, the people of Israel are told to finish a battle by "marring" the enemy land with stones.

The next part of this verse is very interesting. "and planted it with the choicest vine"  Jesus is the choice vine. (In my bible and in the Eerdman's commentary, both sources indicate that the "choicest" not only indicates the best but also indicates a bright, deep red color) . In Matthew 26:27-28 Jesus says that the wine is His blood.

 In  John 15, Jesus says; "I am the vine and my Father is the vinedresser." If we look back into the book of Genesis, when Jacob summoned his son's to prophesy of their futures in chapter 49, he speaks to Judah in verse 10, and says, " The septer shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes,(this is speaking of the Lord Jesus) and unto Him, shall be the obedience of the peoples. He (Judah) ties his foal to the vine,
and his donkey's colt to the "choice vine". Ge. 49:11

 We know that the linage of the messiah Jesus, is through the tribe of Judah. Judah was the tribe of kings because God had tied their heritage to the messiah not the other way around. They had been "grafted in" to the "choice vine".  

Jesus says, He is the vine in John 15. The Lord said that He planted the "choicest vine" within His people, within the men of Israel Isa.5:7 " For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah His delightful plant......"

 In Matt 21:33-38, Mark 12:1-9 and Luke 20:9-16,  Jesus tells the parable of the vineyard and the landowner. When He tells this parable, He is speaking to the Priests, scribes and elders of the people. He uses some of the very same wording as chapter 5 in Isaiah, but in the parable the land owner goes away and sends his servants (the prophets) who are  badly mistreated  by the vine growers intrusted with the  vineyard. In the parable the landowner sends his son who is killed by the vine growers. Jesus then tells them that the owner will come and destroy them  and give the vineyard to others. Luke 20:16 says that when the scribes, elders and priests heard His words they said "may it never be!" They new that Jesus was talking about them and their land. They probably were able to connect the analogy in Isaiah 5 with this parable and of course they would have known the out come of Isaiah's prophesy in chapter 5, because it resulted in the 70 year exile. In all of the gospel accounts, we read that this angered the leaders of the people and they were even more determined to destroy Jesus.

At verse 5:3 the narrative switches from Isaiah speaking, to the Lord  speaking to  the people.
Verse 5: 4 reminds me of discussions I've had with, and about, my teenagers. "What more could I have done ?"
Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce only wild grapes?"(I'm going to remember this verse!) Be comforted, if the Lord can raise "wayward sons" (and daughters), so can we. Read Isa.1:2.

I used to live by a river in Waterbury ,Vt. I would walk to the river and collect wild grape ivy from the river banks. I made wreaths out of it to sell at craft shows. The wild ivy would grow grapes but they were very small clusters which turned dark purple, but never got plump and sweet. They stayed small and hard.  

The Lord then tells them in verse 5 that he will remove the protection that He was providing for them. He was going to remove the hedge of protection, and the  walls (some vineyards had a prickly hedge, some had a wall. The best had both.) . Verse 6, " I will lay it waste; It will not be pruned or hoed, but briars and thorns will come up. I will charge the clouds to rain no rain on it."  The idea here is neglect of His vineyard not out right ravage. He had carefully tended His vineyard, now He would offer no care, He would not keep up the fences, weed, hoe or water it. It would become, trampled over. People would not even notice when they walk through it from one place to another. And, it would lay neglected  and in  ruins. (verse 5: 6).

The full explanation of this parable is in verse 5:7. The Lord delighted in the house of Israel and the men of Judah, He expected righteous judgements and justice for the people (see Isa.3:14-15 This is where the Lord comes to his feet to judge the elders of Israel for their treatment of the poor )   and all He saw was bloodshed, and all He heard was a cry of distress from the oppressed.

 The Lord cares so much about the poor and  the neglected. He had taken good care of His children and He expected them to be kind and caring toward the needy.  

The next blog will be Isaiah 5:8-24. Please keep reading your bibles. Let the Lord touch you and melt your heart. He has shown us over and over in this book already how much He cares for the poor and oppressed of the world. 

I look at the over all stats of the blog just about everyday. I know that there are women all over the world looking at this blog. God bless you precious ladies. I'm praying for all of you.