5:1 Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
5:2 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.
5:3 And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.
5:4 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?
5:5 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.
5:6 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.
5:7 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; righteousness, but heard a cry!
Israel was once a nation that was ripe and filled with those who were ready to worship and follow after God. This passage describes them as being vineyard filled with plenty of crop and useful for producing more. This was God’s vineyard, this was a nation that He created, they were His chosen people and were to be vessels used to shine His light to the rest of the world.
However, there was now a major drought throughout the nation. God was looking down at His vineyard and was seeing His people being taken over by sin and immoral ways of living. The nation had gone against the commands of God to abstain from sinful and lustful pleasures and now God was faced with having to invoke punishment and judgement. Due to their unfruitfulness, Isreal became desolate and accessible to nay nation wishing to invade the land.
As followers of Christ, we are to keep in mind that no sin goes unpunished. God does not merely blink at sin and turn His face away. It is because He is a righteous and holy God that He has to do away with sin through righteous judgement. The nation of Isreal refused to turn from their sin and therefore were punished. However, when we choose to turn from our sin and repent of our sin, there is Grace and forgiveness.
His promise and our hope is found in this,
“ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
The Lord’s relationship with Israel has taken many images. In this message from Isaiah it’s described as a vineyard. God created this vineyard and it was plush and full of abundance. He dug it’s trenches, built it’s watch towers, planted it’s seeds, and build for them a wine vat. Yet, the children of God rebelled. The relationship did not reap the harvest that God expected and deserved. Rather, the vineyard “yielded wild grapes”.
God has also planted a vineyard for us. Through the grace of God and Jesus we have a vineyard that is ripe and full. Yet, there is still the harvest that needs done. That task was left to us. We have a responsibility to tend to the vineyard that the Lord made for us. We are the new tenant farmers that Jesus told a parable about in Matthew 21, Luke 20, and Mark 13. Like the tenant farmers in the parables God will eventually return to collect the harvest.
“A man planted a vineyard, and put a fence around it, and dug a trough for the winepress, and built a watchtower, and leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey. 2 And he sent a slave to the tenant farmers at the proper time, so that he could collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from the tenant farmers.” (Mark 13:1-2)