From Vineyard to Wasteland

Isaiah 5:1-7

1 Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2 He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
3 And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
4 What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
5 And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
6 I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
but heard a cry!”  NRSV

This is a beautiful metaphor for what God did for God’s people and an equally powerful one for their rejection and disobedience. We are shown what happens when God chooses to pull God’s involvement with the people, their beautifully prepared, fruit-bearing vineyard becomes a deserted wasteland. It is a stark contrast between life with God and life without God. The choice is always ours to make.

What I can’t get my head around is why people would trade away their God-made, state-of-the-art vineyard for a dry and barren wasteland?

It seems to me that question has become more and more relevant for us today. In verse seven we are reminded that this is a metaphor. The vineyards and wastelands are not pieces of property, but the mind and heart of humankind.

Be a blessing to someone today!


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