Yielding good fruit
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 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.Isaiah 5:3-5 (ESV)
For those who keep a garden, you know how much work goes into tending to it. Between preparing the soil for planting, sowing the seeds, removing weeds, and caring for the plants can be quite a task. Sometimes, however, all of that work and preparation can cause nothing to happen. You look at the garden that you spent time on and it doesn’t yield fruit or it isn’t filled with the beautiful flowers you expected.
This is the image that God uses through the prophet Isaiah. God gave the children of Israel everything. He gave them freedom from the Egyptians, He gave them the Promised Land, He sent them the Law, He gave them a king when they asked for it, and He sent them prophets. Yet, Israel still rejected Him. They became the wild grapes that Isaiah is talking about. Many years after this prophecy was given, God removed His protection from Israel and they were conquered by the Babylonian and Assyrian empires.
It would be easy for us to look at the mistakes made by the children of Israel in that time of rejection and judge them for what they did. They saw the miracles of God and were given the very Word of God through the prophets. Yet, they still rejected Him. However, we have done the same thing. We look at the world around us and see wealth or lifestyles that we chase after. Or we seek to live our own truth over that of God’s truth. We reject God and, instead of listening to the very word of God in the Bible, we go our own way. We have become wild grapes.
But, God didn’t leave Israel in Babylon and Assyria. He saved them from their captivity to physical empires. Just as He saved them, God has also given us a means of salvation through Jesus Christ. Instead of us being bad vines, we are grafted into the true vine that is Jesus. Instead of relying on our own ability to bear fruit, God, through the Holy Spirit, gives us the Fruit of the Spirit. He is now the source of our spiritual growth. Those in Christ are no longer wild grapes but children of the one, true God.
This week, if you have never placed your faith in Christ, consider the truth of the words of Isaiah and place your faith in the True Vine.