#DailyDevotion Will You Learn From Israel’s Past?
Isaiah 5 Let me sing about One I love, a song of my loved One about His vineyard: My loved One had a vineyard on a fertile hill. 2He dug it, cleared it of stones, planted the finest vines in it, built a watchtower in the middle of it, and cut a winepress into the rock. Then He waited for it to produce grapes, but it produced sour wild grapes. 3“Now, you people living in Jerusalem and you men of Judah, judge between Me and My vineyard. 4What should have been done for My vineyard that I didn’t do? When I waited for it to produce grapes, why did it produce sour wild grapes? 5And now let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will tear away its hedge so it will be devoured, and tear down its wall so it will be trampled on. 6I will lay it waste, never to be pruned or hoed. It will grow up in thorns and thornbushes. And I’ll order the clouds not to rain on it.” 7The people of Israel are the vineyard of the LORD of armies, and the men of Judah are the planting He delighted in. He looked for justice and found bloodshed, – for righteousness and found cries of distress.
Isaiah chapter five pretty much sets up the rest of Isaiah up through chapter thirty-nine. It begins in earnest the LORD’s complaint against the people of Israel. The “One I love” is the LORD, the object of Isaiah’s affection. The vineyard is the people of Israel. This theme of Israel as a vineyard will carry through to into themes in the New Testament. Using this theme, Isaiah recounts the Lord’s dealing with the people of Israel.
The LORD had chosen the Levant to give to Abraham’s descendents, what we call Israel today. At one time is was wonderful fertile area and it was a center of trade between the Nile and the Euphrates rivers. He had given this land to Israel. He fought in, with and through the Israelites to conquer the land so they could live on it and be blessed there. They were supposed to be a sign to the nations about the LORD and his way.
But instead, Israel forsook the LORD and his ways. Not just once, but as we see from the time of the Judges through to the Assyrian exile, a period of several hundred years, they adopted the wicked ways of the former inhabitants that were there and of those of their neighbors. When he disciplined them through their enemies and they cried out the LORD saved them. Then they went right back to their evil ways. Instead of being a light unto the nations they descended into darkness.
The LORD looked for justice and righteousness in Israel and Judah and found bloodshed and cries of distress. What was the LORD going to do with them? He was going to use the Assyrians and then the Babylonians to destroy these people who rejected him, though he would preserve a remnant to fulfill his promise of the promised seed who would be a blessing to the world. Even that remnant would rebel against the LORD and his anointed one Jesus Christ and the LORD would again send the Romans to destroy those who rejected him, always preserving a remnant for the sake of Abraham in hopes they too would repent and believe in Jesus Christ and so be saved.
What should we do then? Always be vigilant to confess our sins, mortify our flesh, and believe the good news of Jesus Christ that our sins are forgiven and live lives worthy of our calling.
Heavenly Father, grant us always your Holy Spirit so we may live repentant lives trusting in Jesus Christ our Savior and living according to your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.