“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes” – Isaiah 5:1,2.
God is pictured here as a patient Husbandman carefully planting and nurturing a choice vine. His vineyard is fenced to protect it from harm, and all obstacles are removed which might hinder its growth. What love, what care, what patience is manifest through His actions!
Under such ideal conditions, one would expect the vine to bring forth abundance of fruit. But instead, to the sorrow of the Husbandman, it brought forth nothing but wild grapes.
God had chosen a people, Israel, planted them in a bountiful land, protected and separated them unto Himself in expectation that they would glorify Him and yield much fruit. The result, however, was quite the opposite, because they refused to hearken unto the voice of the Lord. In spite of His tenderness and longsuffering, they rejected His great love and forced Him to deal harshly with them. Consequently God withheld His blessing and protection from them.
A precious personal lesson is presented in these verses. As a new creation, we are a chosen people unto God, as was Israel. He hedges us round about with His protecting love, so that we are separated unto Him. He gently cultivates us, removing or breaking up all bitterness and hardness within our hearts. Being rooted and grounded in love, as we yield ourselves to the Lord, we begin to grow and bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. He bestows upon us the proper amounts of light and water and fertilizer in order that we may produce the sweetness and beauty described in Gal. 5:22,23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
The most important thing to remember, however, is that the basis for all these blessings into which we have access is the winepress of Calvary. The greatest degree of God’s love for us was expressed through His Son on the cross. Only the love of Christ can enable us to be fruitful unto God. Oh, yes, men today apparently are fruitful through their own efforts; but in God’s sight it is nothing but wild grapes.
How I praise God that I have not rejected, as did Israel; but rather, I have accepted this glorious provision He has made.