Isa 5:1-2 Judge Between Me and My Vineyard 4/30/2000

 

 

#1. My Wellbeloved (Isa 5:1, Psalm 84:1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. He Is Waiting For Fruit (Isa 5:2,4,7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3. I Will Take Away the Restraints (Jer 2:21, Jer 12:7-11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isa 5:1-2 Judge Between Me and My Vineyard 4/30/2000

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 5. In the first seven verses of this chapter God gave to US an intriguing parable. We have already discovered a long time ago that:

But here is a parable that is more than intriguing. Let's read it: Isa 5:1-7

Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

Isaiah 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

Isaiah 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. (This is the title of the Sermon: Judge Between Me and My Vineyard )

Isaiah 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

Isaiah 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

 

Perhaps you remember that the Lord Jesus told a similar parable about a vineyard, but that is not the direction I want to go today. Let us just look this parable in Isa 5:1-7. Q: What did God say?

People approach this parable basically from two vantage points:

1. There are those who read this parable as a historical prophecy that the nations of Israel and of Judah were going to be destroyed by the nations of Assyria and Babylon, which actually happened. And they look at this prophecy as a piece of history, which happened a long, long time ago in a land far, far away, but it really does not concern US any more, because it is done and over. These are people who do not believe that the Bible was written for all times and for all generations. They feel safe, because they are not personally touched by these threatening words in this parable.

2. We take a different point of view. We believe that the Bible says of itself, that this entire Book was written for the single purpose of declaring the Gospel, so that people can be saved in hearing the Gospel. The subject matter on every page of the Bible is Salvation, and as long as we do not see the message of Salvation on every page, we have not found the Truth. Every page is written to US, so that we may get to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between US and God the Father.

In this parable of Isa 5:1-7, what is the focus here? It is "A Warning to the Church" to remain faithful. It is "A Warning to US" to remain faithful to the Truth. The Truth of the Word of God.

Before I develop this, let us keep in mind that our KJV is NOT the inspired Word of God. It cannot be the inspired Word of God, because it came into existence only about 400 years ago.

God wrote the O.T. in the Hebrew language, which has been preserved as the Masoretic Text, and God wrote the N.T. in the Greek language, which has become known as the Textus Receptus. These Hebrew and Greek texts are the inspired Word of God, every letter of it. As you know, the translators were not 100% correct all the time. Today there are in existence many study-helps, which allow us to check up on the translators of the KJV. So if you hear me make a correction once in a while, remember that I am not changing the Bible, but I am giving you the literal meaning of a word as it stands in the Hebrew or Greek texts.

Then, if we heed the warning God is giving us here, let us read this parable carefully.

#1. My Wellbeloved (Isa 5:1, Psalm 108:5-8)

Verse 1 of this parable says:

Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved, touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

 

Who is God speaking about here? Who is His Beloved? Well, from the N.T. we know that this can only be the Lord Jesus Christ. You remember, when John the Baptist baptized Jesus there came a voice from Heaven, saying, "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

How many Beloved Sons does God the Father have? ONLY ONE ! God has only ONE Son: He is the Lord Jesus Christ. We who have been chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world, we who are in Christ, are adopted sons of God. But Christ is the only begotten Son of God. That is why in Isa 5:1 the "Wellbeloved" can refer only to the Lord Jesus Christ.

But can you see what a great honor the Father has bestowed upon US: by making US adopted sons in Christ. When the Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross, He so identified Himself with US that He was laden with our sins, and there He endured the wrath of God for us, there He suffered and died for our sins in our place. But the Bible also carefully states that we were crucified with Christ, and when Christ died we died with Him, and when Christ was buried we were buried with Him, and when Christ rose from the dead we also rose with Him. That is how much we were united with Him.

Can you then also see that we too have become beloved of God. No one else is beloved of God. God hates the wicked. God hates all those who remain unsaved. The Lord Jesus told them in their face: "You are of your father the Devil". But concerning US God speaks in totally different terms.

Psalms 84:1 "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!"

I want you to know that the Hebrew word for "amiable" is the same word that has been used for "wellbeloved" in Isa 5:1. In other words, Psalm 84:1 could also be read as follows:

Psalms 84:1 "How beloved are Thy dwellings, O LORD of hosts!"

When we have become saved, and we have received a brand new soul in which God is pleased to dwell, we have become His beloved dwellings. But Christ is the most Beloved Son of God.

There is another thing that I wanted to point out in the second half of Isa 5:1.

Isaiah 5:1 My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

 

Here I would like to suggest a correction. Those words "in a very fruitful hill" are actually a very, very liberal translation of the actual Hebrew text. The Hebrew word for "in a hill" literally says: "in a horn", and the two Hebrew words for "very fruitful" literally say: "the Son of oil". So, instead of reading "in a fruitful hill" you should read:

If you have checked the Sermon outline in your bulletin, you would have seen these words written. What in the world could this mean? You can see why the KJV translators had difficulty with this. Well, let's take these words one at a time. (The strength of a bull is in his horns)

What is the meaning of "in a horn"? Generally, the horn of an individual refers to "the strength" of that individual. For example, in Hannah's prayer, recorded in I Sam 2, we read in V.10

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

 

There was no king in Israel at that time. Who is this King that Hannah prayed about? Remember that God gave her these words. She is speaking about Christ, the King, and she says:

"And He (God) shall give strength unto his King (Christ), and exalt the horn of His anointed."

Therefore, in Isa 5:1, what is the meaning of "in a horn"? It means "in strength". You can leave out the indefinite article a, because it does not exist in the Hebrew text. Who came in strength? Not the vineyard, but the "Wellbeloved". The vineyard does not have any strength of itself; it is Christ who has all the strength. And, you see, this agrees with the sequence of the words in the Hebrew text, which actually reads as follows: "There was a vineyard to My Beloved in a horn, the Son of oil." (2X)

And so you see, that in the expression: "in a horn, the Son of oil" the focus is on Christ, not on the vineyard. Verse 1 is entirely an exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Son of oil. This word "oil" is used most of the times as oil for anointing Prophets, Priests and Kings. These words should not be translated "in a fruitful hill", because that focuses the attention on the vineyard. When God uses words that intend to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, we are obligated to exalt Christ as the source of our strength. He is our Prophet, our great High Priest and our King of kings. He is the Anointed One.

He is the One who emptied Himself for US: He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name, which is above every name.

 

Therefore we honor Him as the Lord of our life. And if we are truly saved then we do honor Him as our King and Lord. Christ is first and foremost in our whole life. In everything that we do or say we give Him the glory, because He gives us strength and He has been anointed as our King.

But now, let us put our focus on the vineyard that God speaks about here.

In this parable, it is a vineyard that goes to waste. God defines that vineyard in Verse 7:

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

 

Do you see the distinction God makes between the house of Israel and the men of Judah? Who does God possibly have in mind? God does not have two vineyards in view. There is only one vineyard; there is only one Congregation. But if God calls the men of Judah His pleasant plant, then the men of Judah are those within the Congregation who are truly saved; they represent the remnant chosen by grace. Therefore the House of Israel, in this context, represents the external Congregation. It applies to the O.T. Congregation, which was the entire nation of Israel and Judah, until the Cross, or it applies just as well to the N.T. Church, after the Cross. The principles of righteousness and judgment God applies to the O.T. Congregation have not changed when the N.T. Church replaced the O.T. Congregation as the People of God.

At any moment in time we must recognize that there is an External Church, an outwardly visible organization that identifies itself with the name Christ, or the name Jehovah, but it is an external body that practices the mode of worship that God has prescribed in the Bible. This does not mean that everyone in the External Church is a saved person. Most of those whom God brought out of Egypt died in the Wilderness because of unbelief. That is hard to understand, but this is what God says in the Bible. And throughout history, only a remnant from the nation of Israel was truly saved. Likewise, throughout N.T. history almost every External Church contains a fraction of unsaved people who remain unsaved, and the Church also contains a fraction of saved people, who are the invisible Eternal Church, the true Body of Christ throughout the world and throughout time. Today we are living in a time where the fraction of saved people in the Church has become amazingly small, because we are living in a time where false gospels are overrunning the Church on a worldwide scale.

Please turn with me to Psalm 80. Psalm 80 is an amazing parallel to the parable of Isa 5. In Psalm 80 the Saints beseech God to turn the Church back to the worship of the only true and living God. We should never cease to pray that God might turn the Church around.

Psalms 80:8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

 

Who is that Vine that God brought out of Egypt? Most people would say: Israel, and they mean the nation of Israel. Israel is the correct answer, but this prophecy refers to Christ who has been brought out of Egypt. Listen to what God says in Matt 2:15, after Jesus Mary and Joseph fled i. Egypt,

Matthew 2:15 And (Jesus) was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

 

The Lord Jesus is also named Israel in the Bible. And the following verses in Psalm 80 bear it out that this is a prophecy, which is being fulfilled right now in our time.

Psalms 80:8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

Psalms 80:9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

Psalms 80:10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.

Psalms 80:11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

Psalms 80:12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

Psalms 80:13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

Psalms 80:14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;

Psalms 80:15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

 

Pray with the Saints of old that God will save many and that He will bring back life into many Churches throughout the world. Let us remember that at one time we were a part of those churches that have now gone apostate, and therefore we were contributors to the sad conditions that are now so prevalent in those Churches. Now, let's return to the vineyard of Isa 5:2,

#2. Christ Is Waiting For Fruit (Isa 5:2,4,7)

Isaiah 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked (waited) that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

 

Christ, who owns the vineyard, is waiting for it to bring forth fruit. What is the fruit from the vineyard that Christ is waiting for? Is the Church supposed to save souls left and right? Is that the right fruit? No, that cannot be. It is God who does the saving. The task of the Church is to bring the Gospel faithfully. The task of the Church is to sow the Seed of the Word of God. This is the fruit that Christ is waiting for from every one of US. Are we sharing the Gospel with whosoever wants to listen to us? Is that expected of us? Definitely! The Lord Jesus said:

"He that gathereth not with Me scattereth".

How many vines did He plant in His vineyard? ONE! Only ONE! One Vine. The choicest Vine. Remember what the Lord Jesus said in the Gospel according to John 15:5,

John 15:5 I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the ONE Vine, and we are the branches. The vineyard stretches from sea to sea and is filled with branches from this single Vine. Can you see the beautiful picture that God is painting here? Christ planted the choicest Vine in His vineyard: Christ gave Himself for sinners. And why did He have to do that? He did not have to do that. He could have let us rot in our sins.

1.      The Bible says that when Adam sinned we all sinned with him. We all were infected with sin and in bondage to sin. That is why we all came out of the womb speaking lies.

2.      The Bible says that God's justice requires payment for sin, and the payment for every sin is an eternity in Hell. Therefore the whole human race is on the way to Hell.

3.      The Bible says that before the found. of the world, God in His great mercy, chose certain people unto salvation by providing a substitute who could, and would, pay the penalty for their sins.

4.      The Bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life a ransom for many, when He suffered and died for us on the Cross of Calvary, and endured the wrath of God for us, in our place. He did that as a totally FREE GIFT. That is when Christ planted the choicest Vine in His vineyard.

5.      The Bible says that God reveals Himself in His Word to those for whom Christ died, by opening their eyes and ears when they hear the Gospel. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. These then are the branches that grow out of Christ, the choicest Vine.

6.      The Bible says that God the Holy Spirit gives assurance of salvation to those who have been saved and who rejoice in prayer and in God's Holy Word.

The choicest Vine, Christ Himself, who was the Word made flesh, provided a Gospel of Grace alone and proclaimed it to His Church: The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace.

He also wrote this Gospel of Grace alone in a Book, through the hands of His Apostles and Prophets, and placed this Book in His Church. This is the tower, or the stronghold in the vineyard.

And He waited for His Church to bring forth fruit. What was the fruit He waited for? Good fruit, which is the proclamation of the whole counsel of God, so that man can be saved under the hearing of that Word of God.

The Hebrew word does not say "wild grapes". The word "grapes" is not even there. The Hebrew word literally means stinking fruit. And the longer He waited the worse it stank.

How could it have happened? God asked us the same question in Jer 2:21

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?

 

Let me tell you how it happened. God gave us the answer in Rom 9:31-32

Romans 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

Romans 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;

 

What was their stone of stumbling? It was Christ crucified. This means that they had to accept that they were sinners on the way to Hell, and that they could not help themselves, but that they needed a Savior who had to suffer and die in their place. No. They had another plan of salvation.

What was this stinking plan? It was a gospel of works. It was a plan of going to Heaven by their own obedience to God's Law. Then they would not need Christ. It was a plan of becoming righteous before God through their own works. But this was not God's way of salvation.

Sadly to say, many Churches today have gone that same route. They have abandoned the FREE GIFT of GRACE, and they have added their own works as a requirement for their salvation.

For example :

They say that you must accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

They say that you must be baptized in water, or else you cannot be saved.

They say that you must publicly proclaim your sins, and publicly repent of your sins.

They say that you must adhere to the Saturday Sabbath, because that is what God commanded.

They say that you have not arrived until you speak in tongues.

 

And many other such innovations are being introduced

All these are lies. I hope you know that they are.

 

People want to be loyal to their Church, but they end up listening more to what their church says, than to what God says

 

What does God say about a vineyard with stinking fruit such as these?

#3. Take Away the Restraints (Jer 12:7-11)

 

 

Please turn with me to the Prophecy of Jeremiah, chapter 12

 

Jeremiah 12:7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.

Jeremiah 12:8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.

Jeremiah 12:9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

Jeremiah 12:11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up (burned); and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

 

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

 

 

 

No more rain means: no more Gospel.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Amos 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment (justice), but behold oppression (bloodshed); for righteousness, but behold a cry (an outcry).

 

 

 

 

Jeremiah 12:14 Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours that touch the inheritance, which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.