“What more could I have done to cultivate a rich harvest? Why did my vineyard give me wild grapes when I expected sweet ones?” - Isaiah 5:4
In this poem, Israel is likened to a vineyard—a metaphor frequently used by the prophets. The song reminded God’s people of the love and benefits bestowed upon them.
Israel had the favorable position on a “rich and fertile hill” (Isaiah 5:1) and a watchtower for protection. Despite God’s careful tending, however, the vineyard produced sour grapes. “What more could I have done?” Yahweh cried.
Our life is like a vineyard. Believers in the Western world have been hedged about; we live in the most fruitful hills. What is more, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit protecting us, like the tower in the vineyard. God is carefully tending us. He rightly expects sweet fruit from our life, so why do we so often produce sour grapes?
Do you have an acid spirit? Perhaps you have been soured by the broken promises of a friend. Maybe someone has been promoted over your head who, in your opinion, can’t do the job as well as you can. Maybe things have happened in your life that make you feel justified in being sour. You would be wrong.
Why do you imagine the Gardener came into your life—to attend to your whims and caprices or to prune your life for spiritual fruitfulness? When God asks, “Why the sour grapes?” he expects an answer, but you probably won’t have a good one. Let God prune what he needs to prune in order to help your character “sweeten up” for him.
For Further Study: Isaiah 5:1-7
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.