Friday, February 13, 2009

A Well Watered Vineyard - Isaiah 27

"In that day,
'A vineyard of wine, sing of it!
I, the LORD, am its keeper;
I water it every moment,
Lest anyone damage it,
I guard it night and day.'"
(vs 2-3)

Judgment and Mercy.
Judgment and Mercy.
Judgment and Mercy. Over and over again in Isaiah this theme resounds. God judges sin. God has mercy on sinners. Why has He had mercy on me?!

This morning in Isaiah 27, the chapter begins with the judgment on the enemies of God's church. You can see that playing out in verse 1. "In that day the LORD will punish Leviathon the fleeing serpent, with His great and mighty sword." Christ's enemies, no matter how monstrous, proud and powerful they may seem to us, will be dealt with and laid low. All the more reason to seek the King's terms of peace and move into His beautiful city!

In verse 2 and 3 the church is pictured, not as the object of his judgment, but as the object of His affection. It is described as a vineyard. Back in chapter 5 Isaiah used this same analogy. In that chapter the "Well-Beloved" planted a vineyard on a fertile hill. He dug all around it and removed the stones that would hinder it. He cared for the vineyard and expected it to produce "good grapes." Instead it only produces "worthless grapes."

Now, in chapter 27 we have a portrait of the reformed grapes. They have been changed! That which was worthless is now producing wine! I am personally very relieved that the Eternal Vine Dresser has not given up on me in my worthless grape condition but has continued tilling the soil of my life. He is working in me that which is necessary to make me fruitful for His Kingdom. Keep tilling Lord!

In these verses it is said the the LORD is the keeper of this vineyard. "I, the LORD, am its keeper." How good to know that we are kept by the LORD. Here is a beautiful picture of the preservation of the saints. God keeps His children! Take a quick survey through the New Testament and see its testimony of the eternal security of those who are truly in Christ:

  • No one can snatch them out of His hand. (Jn 10:28-29)
  • He has sealed them, through the Holy Spirit, for the day of redemption. (Ep 4:30)
  • He will complete and perfect that which He has begun in them. (Ph 1:6)
  • He will guard them until that day. (2 Ti 1:12)
  • They will not fully nor finally fall for they are founded on the Rock. (Mt 7:25)
  • He will not allow any of His little ones to perish. (Mt 18:14)
  • He will not lose any of those that have been given to Him. (Jn 6:39)
  • He has promised to glorify those whom He has justified. (Ro 8:29-30)
  • NOTHING and NO ONE can separate them from the covenant relationship He has established with them. (Ro 8:35-39)
  • The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Ro 11:29)
  • Those He has called He will confirm to the end because He is faithful. (1 Co 1:8-9)
  • He will deliver them from every evil deed and will bring them safely to His heavenly kingdom. (2 Ti 4:18)
  • He is able to save them forever and He is interceding on their behalf. (He 7:25)
    Their eternal inheritance is reserved in Heaven and protected by the power of God. (1 Pe 1:3-5)
  • He will keep them from stumbling and will make them to stand in the presence of His glory. (Jude 24)

As a chosen child of God the Vine Keeper I am safe! The only ones who leave the vineyard are those who were never really grapes. "They went out from us, but they were never really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us' (1 Jn 2:19). There are tares among the wheat. There are wild and worthless grapes masquerading as real and royal ones. We need to examine ourselves to see which of the two we are. If , by the grandeur of His grace we are among the real and royal then how we should rejoice at the Great Vine Keeper's preserving and prospering mercy towards us!

The LORD is the keeper of this vineyard, and He "waters it every moment." This picture really grabbed me this morning. I am NOT a good gardner. I am very bad gardner. I kill gardens. I forget about my garden and don't water it properly. I give it too little water and then try to make up for my failure by giving it too much water. This morning I noticed that the LORD waters His vineyard "every moment." Only God could do that and not drown it dead!

"I water it every moment." Think of that - God waters His church and His children "every moment" and yet He doesn't over water us. We can never get too much of the water of God! The dew of heaven doesn't drown but drives us to produce more fruit. We need to "do the dew!" We need to drink it in since He is pouring it out to us. We need to guzzle the means of grace and watch the Gardner grow us through them.

The LORD keeps his vineyard, He waters it every moment, and "lest anyone damage it, [He] guards it night and day."

  • God is omnipresent - He is always with His vineyard.
  • God is omniscient - He sees and hears and knows all the plans and powers that seek to trample it. Nothing can be hidden from God!
  • God is omnipotent - Nothing is too hard for Him, no enemy is too great for Him, and no one can remove Him from the guard station from which He eternally cares for us.

Writing of this section, Matthew Henry says : "God will keep it in the night of affliction and persecution. He will keep it in the day of peace and prosperity, the temptations of which are no less dangerous. This vineyard will be well fenced." Oh how priviledged we are to be guarded by Christ in all the affairs of life!

This morning my prayer is - Lord, thank You for keeping and caring for me. Thank you for guarding me day and night. I am safe no matter how strong the storm or how sneaky the sin. Lord - thank You for continually nourishing me. Make me to drink in that which you are always pouring out. Apply the dew of your Spirit through your means of grace to my life and make me fruitful for Your glory and for Your kingdom.

Longing to drink more fully,


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