Isaiah writes poetically about His Beloved’s vineyard. Verses1-2 read,
“Let me sing for my beloved
my love song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2 He 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;
and he looked for it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.”
My Beloved is The LORD, this is His vineyard. He put it on a fertile hill. He place where it could get all the nutrients of the soil, the best light, and air flow. He dug, he removed all the barriers, the stones which would hurt the vines and stunt their growth.
He planted a watchtower in it. The watchtower was a place where the vineyard keeper resided as he did his job. During harvest time the entire family could live there. It represents protection from enemies and thieves and rising above them. It is the temple of God to the Jew. God resided in Solomon’s Temple and today God resides with the believer. He protects, watches, guides, and transforms you from the inside. He is with you, walking alongside you.
He hewed a wine vat. He is prepared for the results of the fruit He planted and is sowing. Yet the grapes that grew were not the grapes He planted. Wild grapes grow because their vines have tendrils that grab onto other plants, trees and such and grow.
God didn’t plant the wild grapes, which would not yield the wine He desires. Wild grapes can be good for many things but the wine they produce is poor quality compared to the carefully cultivated and chosen grapes from the vineyard. The wild grapes would produce a substandard poor copy, not the rich full drink intended.
So The Vineyard Keeper had a plan even though He had done everything He should have done and could have done to produce the grapes He desired. Verses 5-6 read,
“And 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.
6 I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it”
God removed His special protection from the vineyard, now animals could prowl and eat from the vines. He broke down the wall so anyone could come in and walk on and crush the wild grapes. He would not bother pruning or hoeing. Had the grapes been the ones He planted ready to be made into His sweet good wine, He would have cut back, hoed, and cared for the plants. But these plants were growing wild and he didn’t want them to flourish. The results they would offer would not be the perfect wine His grapes would produce. Why should He work hard in a garden that will produce results that are not His and are not good?
You were created to be God’s very own child. He made you. He gave you gifts, talents, and qualities that when combined with Jesus’ Salvation and the filling of the Holy Spirit make you exactly perfect for the purposes He has given you. But the devil is out there prowling around, planting lies next to the seeds God sows. That weasel brings wild grapes into the vineyard that grow and look good. Some even taste good. But they are not what God had in mind for you or me. They are less than. But they are easy, they grow without cultivation. The goals God has for you and I require His careful cultivation, His loving hands and the occasional pain of pruning, cutting back leaves, and allowing the fullness of the sun, water and nutrients of the soil create in us the fruit God desires.
Don’t be deceived, a wild grape may look good and taste good, but the fruit of The LORD God Almighty is so much more than the wild grape could be. The wine that comes from the chosen, planted and cultivated grape is rich, full, and tastes good. The wine that comes from the wild grape has to be mixed with others things like sugar, more grapes, other fruits, and still the wine is only palatable.
Don’t settle for less. Be who God chose for you to be. Let Him cut that leaf back. The pain is temporary but the sun shining down allows you to grow and develop more sweetness. Let Him prune away the parts that will hinder you.
Being a wild grape is easier, no pruning, no cutting. But there is also no assurance of provision and you end up being way less than you could have been. When will the rain come? Who will keep the weasel from eating you up? Who will protect you from the thief?
Don’t let the spirit of rebellion keep you from the fullness of life God is offering you. Don’t let fear of transformation stop you from allowing Him to make you new. God wants to use you. He has made the way, provided you with everything necessary and offers Himself to you. Submit to Jesus, give yourself to Him and see how He will use you. Your life will say, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).