Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Go to previous reading  Mark 12  Go to next reading

The Bible

Bible Blog

One might call this the chapter of sour-tasting grapes.  God’s plan was to establish the most spectacular grape vineyard in the world centered in the land of Israel. It would be so amazing and produce such an abundant harvest of sweet grapes that people from every nation would come to discover the secret of His success.

 

But there was no success.  The prophet Isaiah lamented, “Israel is the vineyard of the LORD Almighty; the people of Judah are the vines he planted. He expected them to do what was good, but instead they committed murder. He expected them to do what was right, but their victims cried out for justice” (Isaiah 5:7 GNB).

 

Those who were left in charge of the vineyard would accept no instruction despite the many counselors sent to them by the Owner of the vineyard. The prophets were stoned, beaten, and even sawed in half for offering grape-growing advice. How dare the Originator of grapes think to tell them how to manage their own lives!

 

God had borne their stubbornness long enough, it was time to deliver a final message through Daniel, “Seventy weeks [490 years] are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy (Dan 9:24).”

 

Despite the lapse of time, Israel squandered the allotted period—grape quality had not improved but worsened.  Now the Most Holy One stood before them—they plotted His death. But the love of the Godhead would make a final plea for them to become sweet grapes, “…and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength...” (Mark 12:30).

 

You and I have been allotted precious time to become sweet grapes—to become like Jesus and represent Him to the watching world.  How is it with you?  Are you following the instructions delivered by His messengers?  Are you allowing the Creator to change you from sour to sweet?

 

Jim Ayer
Vice President
Adventist World Radio
General Conference