Reading through the Bible together
Sheila: In this chapter the “vineyard of the Lord” is a symbol of the “house” or nation of Israel (v.7). The two kinds of grapes in verse 2 (good & wild) remind me of evangelist Kenneth Cox telling us how to relate to all kinds of people coming to his meetings.
Lloyd: Yes. His advice was to be wise with the unripe grapes. In other words, if a person was argumentative or hostile, we were just to be friendly and pray, allowing the Holy Spirit to grow them to the point of interest and to become ripe grapes.
Sheila: Isaiah is a gifted preacher who knows how to use illustrations that are just right like the one of the vineyard (vs. 1-7). In verse 4 he includes the question, “What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done?” It makes His hearers think and realize that the condition of their nation can’t be blamed on God but is the result of the people (grapes) not growing to meet His expectations! They have broken the covenant they made with God (Ex. 24:3, 7).
Lloyd: Yes, Jesus also sorrowed over their disobedience causing them to reject Him (Matt. 23:37-38). So our heavenly Father must sorrow as this world’s probation nears an end (II Pet. 3:9). Revelation 3:19 tells us God still rebukes and chastens those He loves. Even the seven “Woes” mentioned here could be seen as loving appeals from heaven showing how not to act!
Sheila: That’s right. I’m thankful my parents warned me not to even taste “strong” or alcoholic drink (vs. 11, 22)!
Lloyd: Me too! By the way, over fifty years after Isaiah died, Daniel probably read these warnings. As a captive in Babylon, Daniel “purposed” or resolved that he would not partake of the meat or wine from the king’s table (Dan.1:8). Instead of reaping the consequences of failing to keep the “law of the Lord” and rejecting the word of the “Holy One of Israel” (v.24), and then being destroyed (vs. 26-30), we may be among those described in Rev. 14:12, “Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, fill us with Your Spirit, and give us the courage to turn away from those things that prevent us from having a close walk with You. Amen.”
Lloyd and Sheila Schomburg