Blessed to be a blessing
My beloved had a vineyard on a rich and fertile hill. He plowed the land, cleared its stones, and planted it with the best vines. In the middle he built a watchtower and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks. Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes, but the grapes that grew were bitter. Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah, you judge between me and my vineyard. What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes? Isaiah 5:1-4
From our text, Isaiah told a parable about the story of a man with a vineyard on a fertile hill. The man cultivated and cleared the ground so that nothing would hinder the growth of the vines. He planted only the best quality vines. He even built a tower in the middle of the vineyard so he could watch for wild animals and intruders. With all the things he has done, he anticipated having a harvest of sweet grapes (vv. 2, 4). Then he waited for the harvest. And yet, instead of producing good sweet grapes, the vineyard produced bitter ones. The story illustrates the relationship between God and the Israelites. God has done everything necessary for them to produce an abundance of spiritual fruit in their lives. Yet, they remained to follow their own selfish desires; they remained in their moral blindness (v. 20), self-sufficiency (v. 21), and perversion of justice (vv. 22–23). Their decay at the root was because they forsake the commands of God. God saved us when we were without hope. He gave us His Holy Spirit to produce fruit in our lives (Gal. 5:22-23). He removed our sin so that we are free to serve Him. We have the Bible in numerous translations. We have access to more Christian books, music, videos, conferences, schools, Christian radio and television stations, magazines, and seminars than ever before. There are churches of every kind and size. We have teachers and pastors to instruct us and encourage us. Most of all, we have direct access to God through prayer. With all of these access that we have and opportunity to grow, there should be no excuse why we would resort to neglecting God and His word. Surely God has lavished abundant care and blessings upon us. But what has been the return? Have we acted in ways consistent with His nature or have we developed character that conforms to His will? We cannot ignore God with impunity. What is sowed must also be reaped. God will hold us accountable for all that He has done for us. He expects us to show Him the fruit of all of His bountiful provision for our lives. “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required” (Luke 12:48).