By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
Each of us has a vineyard.
This may come as a surprise to you. You may not have realized that you have an expansive vineyard that runs through your household and workplace. The trellises have been built through your loved ones’ lives and the vines tickle the noses of every person you encounter.
Each of us has a vineyard, but they don’t belong to us.
Isaiah describes the vineyard that ran throughout Israel in chapter 5 of his book. It was constructed by who he calls “the one I love”–Yahweh. Look at all the work that God went through in the building of his vast vineyard:
“I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well” (v. 1-2).
Can you see the love of Yahweh for his people? He toiled and sweated to build a luscious vineyard to feed and provide for the Israelites. Like a good father, his intention was for this to be a family project. Something that Father and child could work on together. The Father would do the big things–construct the winepress and a watchtower–and his kids would have fun trimming the vines and enjoying the wine that it produces. A creative and life-bringing project springing from a well of the love that a Father has for his children.
But the vineyard wasn’t as Yahweh envisioned:
“Then he [Yahweh] looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit” (v. 2).
What!? This was supposed to be this wonderful Father-child project! But the grapes rotted and fell off the vine. There were no good grapes for eating and squeezing them into the best wine.
The Israelites didn’t tend to the vineyard with which they’d been entrusted. Yahweh was the excited dad who prepared everything beforehand, but his children weren’t interested in what he was doing. They didn’t want to tie up the branches or pluck away the weeds. So no fruit grew, and the vineyard died.
God is still the enthusiastic dad desiring to build vineyards with his kids. In fact, he’s gotten a headstart. He’s been building them in your workplaces, your home, and on your street. He’s built the watchtower and dug out the winepress. He’s eager to see good fruit dangling off the vine. But you have a responsibility for your vineyard.
God’s done the heavy lifting, but we need to be willing to water the plants and trim the vines. We have to be just as excited about this project as our Father because when help him tend the vineyard, our families, coworkers, and neighbors will be able taste and see the fruit of God.
And hopefully, develop vineyards of their own.