Read Isaiah 5:1-7
Remember this very important thing when reading this parable. Isaiah is a prophet speaking to God’s chosen people. This book isn’t about God’s people versus culture. This is about God’s people turning their back on God and blending their worship of God with the cultural practices and the worship of baal.
God isn’t happy. So what Is God to do? He sends Isaiah to His people to explain…
There are two things happening in this parable and throughout God’s judgement of His people: Consequence and Punishment
1. It isn’t the owner of the vineyard’s fault that it produced worthless grapes.
“Judge between Me and My vineyard. ‘What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones? So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard…”
Often we take these portions of scripture and we wonder…why is God so mean? What we have to consider here is that God has given His people a choice…”follow God or you can follow the world….”
2. God’s people will enter hard times as a consequence AND as a time of punishment from God.
God is a good father meaning He will discipline His people. God removes the protective hedge of His people here in order to start the process of pruning. Earlier in Isaiah 1:27 God says “Zion will be redeemed with justice and her repentant ones with righteousness But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together..”
God is authority over the earth thus His actions here are not Unjustified. This means that God is truly good for punishing His people. He is truly good for brining discipline in order to prune the unrighteousness out of His people. This pattern of sin, judgement, forgiveness will continue throughout the entirety of scripture which eventually leads to God sending someone very special down to earth…Himself.
3. Jesus has authority over EVERYTHING—so make Him the center of everything you do—Turn to Christ.
Where does Jesus fit in this parable? There is a moment in Matthew 21:18-22 that compares to God laying waste to a vineyard in Isaiah 5:1-7. Jesus kills a fig tree that is bearing no more fruit in front of His disciples…then he says:
“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘ be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
2 Corinthians 5 points to this judgment in which we will all face for our good and bad deeds, yet even in that Judgement God had a plan to reconcile Himself to His creation—to His people. God LONGS to be with His people. Christ died for humanity in order for humanity to repent and turn to Him—by faith Christ saves us, He brings us back to God, reconciles us as Paul describes here. But if we do not choose Him then we will reap the punishment and consequence of hell.
One thing is very clear. God loves His people immensely. All He asks for in return is for His people to love Him back, to worship Him, to make Him the centre of their lives and to have trust in Him. Remember we are saved by Faith, not by our own works, so trust in God. Experience His discipline, His grace, His upmost full love and experience a joy and a peace unlike anything in this world.
1. Do you think God’s Judgement is Good? Why or Why Not?
2. How can we know/ feel peace if everything around us seems to be going wrong?
3. What else spoke to you through this passage?