Into the Wilderness
Spend a few moments now quietly asking God to speak to you today through his Word as you prepare to read.
Read Isaiah 5:1-7
 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.  He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.  “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.  What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?  Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.  I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy is the Lord upset with his "vineyard"?
Picture the scene in this vineyard. The conditions of the hillside were good, the necessary hard work had been done, and all that remained was to wait for a bounteous harvest. Farmers and gardeners, of course, know it isn’t that simple. Many things can go wrong in nature and there isn’t always an obvious explanation. My husband was not impressed when a local gardening expert told him: “They do that sometimes.” It’s not what you want to hear when you have a problem with your favorite flowers. You want a solution. In this scenario, there most definitely is a reason why the vineyard doesn’t grow. Isaiah lets his listeners take in the whole sorry scene before he enlightens them about what it actually means. It’s a simple but hard message: the vineyard is the house of Israel, and because its people will not listen to God, destruction will come to them. Of course, God’s chosen people should be fruit-bearing. But they have turned their back on him and no good can come from that. Deep down we know that is true for us, too.
Reflect on what God’s will for your life might be, and ask him for his help and direction to realize it.
Lord, I want my life to be a pleasing “vineyard” that bears much fruit for You. Guide me, I pray.
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