Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. (Isaiah 5:1-6 ESV)
I have a garden area behind my garage. It took a lot of work to build it. I had to move a lot of dirt that was up against my fence on two sides in the back corner of my yard and clear out some old landscape timbers that were rotting. With the pieces that were still good from the timbers and from an old compost bin that was not being used I built a raised bed that was in the sun. It had fertile soil (lots of compost) and plenty of sun. We had every reason to expect a great garden from it. Had it not produced, we would certainly clear it out and make more yard for my kids to enjoy. The garden had a clear purpose and, as the owner and planter, it was in my right to measure it against that purpose. You do the same.
This is how God described his people Israel,
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry! (Isaiah 5:7 ESV)
They did not measure up to the purpose for which He made them. Does He not have the right to tear them down? We like to think from a postmodern perspective in the sense of everyone getting to define his own purpose. But do you see how that is nothing more than a denial of God and and assuming something that is His right? We are God’s creation, given purpose according to His design. Let us strive with all of our being to find out what that purpose is and work to fulfill it.
Lord, I often drift into the world’s way of thinking about my time and energy and how I can spend it on my own whims (which never fully satisfy, by the way). Please forgive me. Instead, will you give me a walk with you that spurs me to life in the Spirit? Thank you Lord for hearing and answering, for you are a gracious Father.