Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fine Wine on My Mind...

Confusion.  What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear or say that word?  There is a legitimate difference between confusion and ignorance, and yet somehow the two can seem intricately intertwined when the confused person doesn't avail himself of the information that can remedy any contributing ignorance.

Such seems to have been the case in the day of Isaiah, most specifically as he penned chapters 5 through 8.  There can be little confusion upon reading his words however, about the state of affairs that dominated the culture in his era.  Most striking to me is the parallel that can be drawn between his day and ours.  Some of these passages read as if they could be snatched from today's headlines.

Take a look at just a few of the verses and see if you agree:

5: 11 What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk. 12 They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties...but they never think about the Lord or notice what he is doing.

20 What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. 21 What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.

Isaiah opened chapter 5 by giving us the picture of a beautiful vineyard beloved by its owner.  The vineyard, planted in fertile soil and supplied with the perfect amount of everything it needed to produce a lovely harvest, has produced bitter fruit and is overgrown with weeds.  Maybe most disturbing though is that in His frustration, the vineyard owner has decided to remove its protective hedge.

A people who reject and ignore the blessings and benefits of the loving vineyard owner (God) eventually reap the consequences of their rejection.  God will have a harvest and there will be fine wine.  I pray that the veils of confusion and the cloaks of ignorance that seem to be prevailing in our day will be removed so that the harvest will again be plentiful in the land I love.  If not, I plead for mercy and ask Him to continue to cultivate small vineyards that yield good fruit for His purposes in the places where you and I live.

Father-- please till the soil of my personal vineyard until the fruit I produce is lovely, fragrant, and good enough to yield the sweetest wine. 

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