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  • Joe Norton

No Pandering from God (4/7/2024)

A study of the Woes of Isaiah 5

 

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,

“And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.

“He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;

“For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help” (Isaiah 5:7).

 

It is interesting to note that Isaiah begins this discussion of Woes with a parable about an unfruitful vineyard (see verses 1-7). This chapter seems to be a proverbial island, so to speak, a passage showing no obvious connection to the teaching that precedes it nor to what follows.

 

The Lord, having given Israel every needful blessing for success, found in her rather failure—having blessed her for “justice” and “righteousness” rather found “oppression” and despair, that is “a cry for help.”

 

This verse, the explanation of the parable, expresses God’s extreme disappointment at Israel’s failure to take advantage of His generosity. It is obviously a rebuke of Israel for her sinful condition, which he will mention in detail in the following verses.

 

From this spiritually tragic situation in Israel, we learn an invaluable lesson about both God and His expectations of His people in every generation: God does not pander to mankind. He demands our obedience if we expect Him to accept us; and, as well, He expects us to appreciate the multitude of spiritual and physical blessings that he has made available to us.

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