Thursday, December 5, 2013

song of the vineyard

Good afternoon folks,
Today's reading is something we don't see so often, an Old Testament parable. This parable from Isaiah compares Israel to God's vineyard. The point is that God has done everything for God's people and therefore expects them to bear the fruits of righteousness. Instead, they have allowed injustice and the oppression of the poor to flourish. 

This parable is interesting too, because later in his ministry Jesus also tells a parable about a vineyard with a different story but a similar point. It's not a stretch to imagine that Jesus may have had Isaiah's parable in mind, and his hearers, the religious leaders of Israel, might have remembered this parable as well.

May we bear righteous fruit in our life,

Isaiah 5:1-10
Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 

5And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

8Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land! 9The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing: Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.10For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield a mere ephah. 

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