Saturday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Isaiah 5:1-7 (NKJV)
1 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill.
2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes.
3 “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
4 “What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?
5 “And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
6 “I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, but there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it.”
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
As we head toward Sunday, we find in our readings a call to repentance. God has been longsuffering toward us but, perhaps, we have been easily irritated by His patience with the rest of the sinners. We must ask ourselves whether our works have had the quality of wild grapes and not cultivated ones. When we look at the works by which we ought to have worshiped Him, we might well conclude that He should take away the hedge, break down the wall, allow us to be trodden upon by the wild animals, and deprived entirely of rain.
The Nation-Church of the Old Testament had certainly acted in this way, substituting oppression for godly judgment and justice; wringing a cry and groan from the powerless, rather than practicing and inculcating righteousness. Yet, we note that this song calling for judgment between the gracious Lord and the evil actions of Israel comes many chapters before the great promises we have looked at this week! The intent of recording it is that we might judge our actions rightly and repent of them, trusting in the Christ’s payment for our sin and His fulfilling of all of the Law to keep us as the Lord’s treasured vineyard, restored for the sake of the Savior Who has offered His works in place of our own.
We pray: Lead us, dear Father, to see our sins against You and to turn from them, that we do not bristle at Your correction, but run to You through Christ when brought to suffer any consequence of sin, so that You may truly cultivate and prune us by Your Word, that we may bear fitting fruit that brings glory to You; through Jesus, the true Vine. Amen.