Tonight we will be looking at Isaiah Chapters 5. In chapter 5, we see a song about a vineyard, but as the song progresses, Isaiah reveals its deeper meaning.
Isaiah 5:1 Now let
me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My
Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.† 2 He dug it up and cleared out its
stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst,
And also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good
grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes.†
3 " And now, O inhabitants of
like what Isaiah does here because he does what Nathan did to David when he got
David to pronounce judgment on himself when he had Bathshebaís husband killed.
In the first few verses, he simply tells them about this vineyard that was
planted in the best possible place and was taken care of very well. Instead of
producing good grapes, it produces wild grapes, which were poisonous.
starting in verse 3, he asked
4 What more could have been done to
My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to
bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?
I can just imagine these
Jews shaking their heads in disbelief because of what happened with this
vineyard. They would understand how frustrating it would be to give a vineyard
the perfect amount of care, yet it ends up making poisonous grapes. Next, he
tells them what he is going to do with this vineyard:
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away
its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall
be trampled down.† 6 I will
lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and
thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it."
Again, I can imagine
these Jews saying amen, that is until Isaiah makes them realize that they are
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of
can just imagine the confused and horrified look on their faces, when they
realized that Isaiah is saying that they are the poison grapes in the Lordís
vineyard. He is letting them know through the song that God is going to remove
His protection from them and they are going to be laid to waste. He gave them
every opportunity and the best circumstances to produce good fruit, but no
matter what God did for them, no matter what His prophets spoke to them, they
chose to produce poisonous fruit. Now that Isaiah had cut to their heart, he is
now going stop it in the ground because he is going to tell them 7 woes of what
is going to happen to them because of their wicked ways.
Isaiah 5:8 Woe to
those who join house to house; They add field to field, Till there is no
place Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!† 9 In my hearing the LORD of hosts said,
"Truly, many houses shall be desolate, Great and beautiful ones,
without inhabitant.† 10 For
ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, And a homer of seed shall yield one
This is a woe against the
greedy and selfish. These Jews wanted more and more and that was their main
focus. They would soon find out that their greedy selfish ways would come back
to haunt them because God is going to make them desolate, and He is going to
make it to where their vineyards will hardly produce anything.
There are many today who
are just like these rebellious Jews who have greed and selfishness at the top
of their priority list. We too will be brought low if we continue on this path.
Isaiah 5:11 Woe to
those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating
drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!† 12 The harp and the strings, The
tambourine and flute, And wine are in their feasts; But they do not regard the
work of the LORD, Nor consider the operation of His hands.
These Jews were just seeking after how they could please themselves. They did not wait until the evening to start drinking, they would get up early and start drinking right away and then drink all day and through the night. They would have these feasts and music, but none of was for the Lord it was for themselves. They did not even give God a thought.
Does this sound familiar? How many people do you know that live like this? We have many in our nation that drink and just party all the time without giving God a thought because they are too wrapped up in pleasing themselves. This was one of the problems the Corinthians had. We can see this in:
1 Corinthians 11:20
Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's
Supper.† 21 For in eating,
each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another
is drunk.† 22 What! Do you not
have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the
good will come from seeking the sinful pleasures that the this world has to
1 John 2:15 Do not
love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love
of the Father is not in him.
Back to our text, Isaiah
tells them what is going to happen to them because of their pleasure seeking:
Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no
knowledge; Their honorable men are famished, And their multitude dried
up with thirst.† 14 Therefore
Sheol has enlarged itself And opened its mouth beyond measure; Their glory and
their multitude and their pomp, And he who is jubilant, shall descend into
it.† 15 People shall be
brought down, Each man shall be humbled, And the eyes of the lofty shall be
humbled.† 16 But the LORD of
hosts shall be exalted in judgment, And God who is holy shall be hallowed in
righteousness.† 17 Then the
lambs shall feed in their pasture, And in the waste places of the fat ones
strangers shall eat.
Though it had not happened yet, Isaiah speaks as if their captivity already happened because it was going to happen, there was no doubt about it. Many of them were going to be killed and every man was going to be humbled by their captivity. A similar fate awaits those today who choose to rebel against God, except their separation will be for eternity if the die physically in this state.
The third woe is next:
Isaiah 5:18 Woe to
those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, And sin as if with a cart
rope;† 19 That say, "Let
Him make speed and hasten His work, That we may see it; And let
the counsel of the Holy One of
Jews were so engrossed in their idol worship and sinful ways that they were
basically challenging God to prove that He is the only God. I cannot help be
reminded of how the Jews during Jesusí time kept telling Him to prove Himself
with a miracle. God does not have to prove anything to anyone. Who are we to
make such demands when the proof for His existence is all that we see and hear?
As Paul said:
Romans 1:20 For
since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal
power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
The 4th woe is something that rings true today as well:
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to
those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light
for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!†
These Jews and many today
are guilty of calling evil good and good evil. One of the first things that
people do to justify a sinful behavior is to call it acceptable behavior. Then
the next step is to call those doing the opposite being wrong. The first
example that comes to my mind that is happening today is how people are trying
to say that homosexuality is ok because it is just another lifestyle. Then they
try to say that people like me who speak against the homosexual movement as
being wrong or prejudice. Of course, there are many other examples we could use
that we have all seen over the years where evil is labeled as good and good as
evil. When man starts redefining what God says is wrong as being right, we are
going to get ourselves into a whole heap of trouble because God will not be
pleased with it. We have example after example in the O.T. of how God would
punish His people and other people who decide to change morality and truth to
their own truth. We must make sure we avoid doing this and not fall into the
same trap as the Jews.
Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those
who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!
This is certainly related
to the previous woe because the heart of the problem is when we think we are
wiser than everyone else including God. Oh, how foolish we become when we think
we are so smart. The Scriptures deal with this idea in several places. Letís
look at just a few:
Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own
eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Romans 1:22 †Professing to be wise, they became fools,
We have to be very
careful today not to think we are wiser than we are. This is especially easy
for us today because we have a wealth of knowledge available to us with a few
clicks of a mouse. I could be wrong, but my personal opinion is that this is
more of a problem for us today then it was for Jews back then. Whether my
opinion is right or wrong, one thing I am certain is that we have real problem
in our society of being wiser than we really are.
Here is the last woe:
Isaiah 5:22 Woe to
men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating
drink,† 23 Who justify the
wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!
This woe is similar to
one of the earlier ones, but this one is talking about how the regular wine was
not strong enough for them so they made it more intoxicating. This is certainly
a problem today. One will go from drinking beer to drinking whiskey and other
stronger drinks. When that does not give them the feeling they are looking for,
they will move on to drugs. This is very dangerous path to get on because not
only does it affect you, it affects everyone around you. At least back then,
these drunkards could not get behind the wheel of car, but today we have over
100,000 deaths every year because of men and women drinking under the influence
of alcohol, yet this is another one of those areas where people have a tendency
to call evil good.
We also see within this
woe that these valiant men were also taking bribes to overlook the wickedness
around them. How many times do you see people today doing things like this? We
hear from time to time how those in charge will take bribes to let evil men and
women get off scot free. It can be very tempting when you are high up to accept
bribes, but if you a follower of God, you must resist such temptations because
God does not approve of such things.
Next, Isaiah lays it out
Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So
their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word
of the Holy One of Israel.† 25
Therefore the anger of the LORD is aroused against His people; He has stretched
out His hand against them And stricken them, And the hills trembled. Their
carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this His
anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.†
Isaiah paints an ugly
vivid picture of what their destruction will be like. Just like a hot fire that
devours the wheat these Jews will be devoured by their enemies. Why? Because
they rejected the law of the Lord, which made God angry at them. Even when many
of them have perished in the streets, the punishment continues on because Godís
anger has not turned away.
†Some people do not like thinking about verses
like these and they want to separate the God of the O.T. from the God of the
N.T. even though He is the same God. They want to pretend that God is love and
that His grace will take care of everything. So, they basically ignore the
justice of God. Friends, though we are under a new covenant, we must never
think that God is not going to get angry at us and unleash His wrath on us.
The same things that made
Him angry at His people are some of the same things that make Him angry at us
today. One of the main thing that makes Him angry is when we do not keep His
law. Of course, we do not keep the law of Moses because that was part of the
old covenant, but we are supposed to keep the law of Christ, which belongs to
the new covenant. Let me show you just a few examples from the N.T. that
teaches the same principle that Isaiah was teaching under the O.T.
2 Thessalonians 1:7 when
the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,† 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance
on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ.† 9 These
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord
and from the glory of His power,† 10
when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired
among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no
one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God
comes upon the sons of disobedience.† 7
Therefore do not be partakers with them.
So, do not let anyone
fool you into thinking that God turns a blind eye to sin today. Yes we are
under a new covenant, but Godís anger toward sin has not changed.
Isaiah 5:26 He will
lift up a banner to the nations from afar, And will whistle to them from the
end of the earth; Surely they shall come with speed, swiftly.† 27 No one will be weary or stumble
among them, No one will slumber or sleep; Nor will the belt on their loins be
loosed, Nor the strap of their sandals be broken;† 28 Whose arrows are sharp,
And all their bows bent; Their horses' hooves will seem like flint, And their
wheels like a whirlwind.† 29
Their roaring will be like a lion, They will roar like young lions; Yes,
they will roar And lay hold of the prey; They will carry it away safely,
And no one will deliver.† 30
In that day they will roar against them Like the roaring of the sea. And if one
looks to the land, Behold, darkness and sorrow; And the light is
darkened by the clouds.†
God would humble His
people through various nations such as the Assyrians, and Babylonians. Through
Godís providence, He would use nations like these to carry out His wrath
against the wickedness of His people. He lets them know that no one is going to
rescue them from this punishment. The consequences of their sins will bring all
this on their heads.
What we need to learn
from this today is that God cannot stand sin. If we chose the pathway of sin
and live like the world, we too will face the wrath of God. When we die in that
state, there we be no rescue for us because once we die our fate is sealed for
eternity. So, let us learn from this to love God and keep His commandments so
that we can enjoy eternity in heaven instead of an eternity in hell.††