“Well now, let me tell you what I’ll do to my vineyard: I’ll tear down its fence and let it go to ruin. I’ll knock down the gate and let it be trampled. I’ll turn it into a patch of weeds, untended, uncared for — thistles and thorns will take over. I’ll give orders to the clouds:‘Don’t rain on that vineyard, ever!’” Isaiah 5:5-6 (The Message)
During the life of Isaiah, the prophet, the nation of Judah was defined by debauchery, rebellion, and excess. They were “sinful people…laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers…corrupt” (Is. 1:4, NKJV). Judah was God’s weed-infested “vineyard” (Is. 5).
There came a point when God “tore down its fence.” He removed His hand of protection from this people of overload. Their hearts no longer had room for their first Love. All their seats were taken, and God had been asked to leave.
For years God patiently pled with his people, demanding that they change their ways. They, a stubborn people, rejected Him, a patient Father. As a result, He withdrew. He granted their subliminal requests. He gave them over to their desires. This vineyard was out of control, and he was done fighting it. Discipline and judgment were in order.
If we aren’t careful, we too can become like Judah. We can find ourselves drowned in excess. It comes in all forms. Worry washes over us in waves of excess, laziness thrives in the face of countless responsibilities, and anger grows fastest when watered with rampant impatience. We aren’t immune to this behavior. In fact, many of us know it all too well.
Be on your guard. These actions are fruits of the heart, sour grapes produced from a rotten vineyard, the vineyard of our souls. Has your vineyard soured or gone unkempt due to ungodly excess?
The consequence of Judah’s actions was judgment. In The Message paraphrase, the rest of Isaiah 5 is filled with the D-word: “doomed!” These people were doomed. Disobedience dooms, but faithfulness fills.
Stay focused. Remember the Water that nourishes your vineyard. Cheap excess may satisfy for a moment, but it’s still only momentary. Stay close to the true Vine, for only He satisfies (John 15:1).