Isaiah 5 Commentary

Isaiah 5 Commentary

There are consequences for fruitlessness. That’s the subject of the second section of chapter 5. But coming up first is a song in the first section. It all culminates in an all-important question: “What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad fruit?” Verse 4.

The statement in verse 4 confounds the common belief that humanity is without the capacity for holiness.

The Creator God planted the choicest vine on a fertile hillside. He watched over it; he cared for it. But alas, the vine produced only worthless grapes.

The fruit is bad not because the soil is bad; not because the seed is bad; not because care wasn’t sufficient. Who would want to accuse the all-knowing, all-powerful, and the ever-present God of negligence?

The consequence is obvious: scattering. Humanity experienced the first scattering in the Garden of peace and tranquility. Adam and Eve were scattered from Eden and could no longer enjoy the presence of their heavenly Father. The sinful Cain was scattered and wondered everywhere aimlessly. We saw another scattering at the Tower of Babel.

Sinful Israel is now facing yet another scattering – Exile it is. Whenever humanity has gathered in sinfulness, the LORD has moved in to scatter them.

The LORD Jesus Christ puts it this way: “and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

The picture of bound Jews trooping out of a burning Jerusalem is what many of us know about the scattering. There is actually more. The LORD takes away the hedge of protection. The wall is broken down. And it’s never a physical wall! Divine care is withdrawn. The vineyard is no longer cultivated. Instead, thorns and briers take root. You wonder why there is so much evil in the world!

Then the LORD God commands the clouds not to rain on the land. Elements of nature are under instructions not to cooperate with sinful man. Men call evil good and good evil. They put darkness for light and light for darkness. Perversion. Perverted hearts.

But the LORD will one day act. It’s part of the plan, so we have read. And so it shall be.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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