Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah. Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.
Isaiah 7 is a real mash up of several thoughts.
The first is to always put our trust in God, so we will not be defeated. (v 9).
Then there’s the famous prophecy of Jesus’ birth (v 14).
And finally, this passage contains caution to the whole land that it will become weeds and thorns. “This country that used to be covered with fine vineyards—thousands of them, worth millions!—will revert to a weed patch. Weeds and thornbushes everywhere! Good for nothing except, perhaps, hunting rabbits. Cattle and sheep will forage as best they can in the fields of weeds—but there won’t be a trace of all those fertile and well-tended gardens and fields.” (v 23-25 MSG).
Is that real or metaphorical? One commentary suggests it is an analogy to our sorrows if we neglect God’s great grace.
There are many, many fruit-filled fields in The Land today. Tragic if they would turn to waste lands. Same for us. God desires that we produce great fruit. Yet, a question to the Christ-follower: Are our lives filled with thorns and weeds instead of fruit? The way great fruit is produced is when we abide with Him, hang out with Him and trust Him. (See John 15.) A good gardener will keep the trees and vines trimmed and pruned. It’s interesting that even the paring down of the smaller, first fruits leads to larger and better yields of the stronger, richer fruit! The best fruit!
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” The words of Jesus in John 15:5-8 (MSG).
The call to the Believer is to be mature, always growing, always producing fruit. As followers of Jesus we need to ask regularly: “What might need to be pruned from our lives so that greater, juicier fruit might be produced… for the Kingdom?”
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.