Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Hosana “Lord Save us”Isaiah 5
In this passage Isaiah chapter 5, we are painted a beautiful scene of a vineyard planted where there was just wasteland. All high producing vineyards are planted highly organized in nice straight paths. Disorder was made orderly, but that was all done by the gardener, for the single purpose of yielding good fruit. The gardener spares no resources and picks the best vines to start this garden but unfortunately in this passage we read the result was that the fruit that was grown was bitter with qualities of bloodshed and injustice. The result of such fruit brings about changes in how the gardener will get the intended result. He goes about pruning, the vines. This pruning is the act of judgement against this vineyard. many of the woes that are described are things that do not seem like a serious grievance. Things like bigger houses (vs 8) larger fields (vs. 8), having an enjoyable time with music (vs 12) does not seem like big issues requiring judgement and destruction, but the problem is those actions do not yield the fruit that the gardener had intended. The metaphor or use of bearing good fruit, is all about the “other” and not the individual. A garden symbolizes a community, but in this garden, all the vines are focused on activities for their own desires and growth.
We need to go back to Genesis (the beginning) to see where the focus on the individual entered the world. God created order out of chaos and established humankind in this garden. When sin entered this world through Adam and Eve, the first thing that was ruined was community, between Adam and Eve, and between humankind and God. Our intended purpose was to give God Glory through community, to rule this creation and subdue it in perfect community with others and God. Isaiah chapter 5 details what has happened to creation and humankind. God in His mercy chose to punish us with death so that we might not live forever in this state of destruction but gave us the opportunity to be saved through his Son.
Instead of being pruned and thrown away, we are given the opportunity to be grafted in with the true vine, Jesus Christ. This is the good news, that we are no longer under the curse of judgement, but we are given the opportunity to live in the true vine. But the real question we need to ask ourselves is do we even want to be saved by God. The textbook Sunday School answer to say is “Yes - Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” If we declare that Jesus is our savior, we are also declaring him “Lord” which means King. If he is our King, then there is a call to surrender our life to this king. Jesus is the vine, and we are grafted in him, that means we are at the vine’s mercy. This means we surrender our ambitions, our desires for material wealth, and fields, and drinks and our desire for wickedness and self-centeredness. All these things that we would like to have for ourselves, we need to surrender to the one that saved us. When we surrender these desires to the Lord, he will show us the needs of our community, which then bears good fruit and glorifies God the gardener.
In Mathew 16:24 Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” May we bear good fruit by choosing to surrender to that which is eternal over that which is here today and gone tomorrow.
Father God, help me to evaluate everything I hold dear. Help me to be able to surrender all I value at your feet today. Help me take up the cross and daily follow you. In Jesus Name Amen.
Thought for the day
Is there anything that I could not surrender to Jesus my Lord and Savior?