Isaiah 17:10–14 ‘Though you set out the finest plants… yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease…’ (vv10–11)
The saying ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ resonates because people often take out their frustration on the one who delivers a strong message.
And Isaiah had more hard words for God’s people. Though they spent their money on the finest plants and imported vines, at the harvest they would only reap rot and pain. No longer could God tolerate their infidelity and hardness of heart.
When reading the hard parts of the Old Testament, often we’d prefer to skip ahead to messages of redemption or the good news of Jesus.
But if we ponder the predicament of God’s people here, we’ll more deeply appreciate His messages of grace and mercy.
Time after time the Israelites forgot the Lord as they relied on their own strength and embraced false gods. And time after time He burned with anger against them before He would gather them close and forgive them.
Though God would temper His anger, His people had to suffer some of the effects of their sins. For instance, when the Israelites approached the promised land, ten spies went out to scope out the situation.
Eight came back and said that subduing the inhabitants would be impossible, while just two called the people to follow God’s commands.
Those two were the only ones to enter the promised land, for God punished those who murmured against Him (see Num. 13–14).
Are we setting out the finest plants and imported vines, only to face rot and ruin at the harvest? As we consider the judgment and mercy of our God, we can be truly thankful.
A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord God, we often grieve You as we move forward with our own plans. Please plant in our lives the vines that will bring forth fruit for Your glory. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Plant some vines as an expression of hope and trust in God, He who gardens our soil.
Scripture To Consider:
Deut. 1:9–18; Eccles. 12:13–14; 1 Pet. 4:12–19; Jude 1:5–10