“Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
My Well-beloved has a vineyard
On a very fruitful hill.
He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
He built a tower in its midst,
And also made a winepress in it;
So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
But it brought forth wild grapes.”
(Isaiah 5:1-2, NJKJV)
God is looking for good grapes. Why else would he spend all that time and effort to cultivate and till his vineyard? Why would he bless you with all the gifts and resources you need to serve him if he has no intention of you serving him with all that he has given?
Every opportunity then to bear good grapes and offer them to God must be cherished and eagerly sought after. To run away from serving God is not only an act of ingratitude, it is also dangerous, as it provokes him to anger. What horrors Jonah had to go through only to end up in the very place he tried to run away from – a place he could have gone to without much trouble at the first, had he not run away!
But Jonah’s case was God being merciful. At least, God put Jonah back on the right track. Here’s what happens when God gets really angry:
“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to my vineyard:
I will take away its hedge and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it to waste;
It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it.”
(Isaiah 5:3-6; NKJV)
The consequences of failing to serve God after all that he has done for us are terrifying. Loss of protection (taking away of the hedge and breaking down of the wall), utter destruction (burned and laid to waste), deprivation of blessing (no rain) and more (briars and thorns).
The New Testament puts it this way:
“For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.” (Hebrews 6:7-8; NKJV)
Forgive us, Lord, for our laziness and complacency. Help us to bear good grapes, grapes you are looking for.