Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 9, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 5:1-7 (NKJV)
5:1 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.
Today’s reading gives answer to yesterday’s: “Does the vineyard feel abandoned? Well, how should I feel about the vineyard? What has not been done for you that you still complain as if you had been wronged? Rather, you have wronged Me!”
Neither pruning, nor watering, nor protection will change the nature of a thing, but only being born as something else. Israel rejected the nature that had been given them when Yahweh led them out of Egypt, the nature of children whose characteristics would be as outlined in Exodus 20. They willfully forgot His mighty acts of deliverance and their birth as His nation and Church. They looked at His Law as something they must fulfill to become His children and tried to minimize and pervert it to make this goal attainable. They added to it to “protect” it and to suppose they had kept it, when they had actually abandoned it the very moment they thought that keeping it would make them His.
As in Matthew 25, where Jesus is able to separate the sheep from the goats and then to declare their actions as fitting for the nature of each, here is a vine that needs to be totally other than what it is, that will only produce what it ought if it is destroyed and reborn.
We pray: O Lord of Hosts, You “looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help,” as the people forgot that their citizenship was only by Your justice and righteousness—by satisfying Your justice through the blood of the Messiah, that the Messiah’s righteousness might be the saving possession of His people. Grant that we may always be kept in this true faith, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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