a lullabye of malevolence

Van Gogh, “Red Vineyard”
(apparently the only painting he managed to sell in his lifetime)

Proper 15 (August 19, 2007)

Isaiah 5:1-7

This passage is one of the most beautiful examples of Hebrew poetry in the entire Old Testament.
The opening notes of what is really a song describe a lush vineyard as a metaphor of God’s blessing and care. This song was not only for the southern kingdom of Judah but is for contemporary believers and churches as well. God has planted us on a fertile hillside, and having cleared this hillside of stones, our lives now flourish as the choicest vines. Yet despite all this care and blessing so often we produce only bad fruit. When this occurs what else can God do but clear the vineyard and start over? Suddenly, the full and tender blessing of God meets a malevolent end.

Let’s take a moment to evaluate the fruitfulness of our own lives. Am I producing fruit consistent with the blessings God has planted in me? How about the fruitfulness of our own local church? Is she producing wine consistent with the blessings showered upon her? If not, what is now plush could soon become a wasteland.

Yet know also how much the Lord loves you just because he does. With this in mind, pursue justice, and with his love firmly rooted in your heart, pursue righteousness. May the blessings of the Lord be found flourishing in the vineyards of our lives.


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