On to Isaiah 5:1-4
Are we fulfilling G-d’s expectations that He has for us? Is He pleased with us? In Eph 2:10 we are told that we are created in Messiah for good works, works which G-d prepared beforehand (in advance) for us to do. We are not saved by our works, but, once we are saved, good works give testimony of our salvation. As believers, our works are not judged for our eternal destination (i.e. our works do not determine if we go to heaven or to hell), but as believers, our works are judged for reward. If our works are NOT pleasing in G-d’s sight, then they are consumed, and we suffer loss – in this age, as well as in the age to come (1 Cor 3:12-15). If our works ARE pleasing in G-d’s sight, then we receive a reward (Many of these rewards are mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3). Do we know what good works G-d has created for us to do, and are we doing them?
Isaiah 5 is written as a song or as a poem. G-d uses songs and poems in the Scripture to convey revelation to His people. Songs and poems help us to more easily remember the important things that He wants to convey to us.
In the Gospels, Yeshua told a parable about a vineyard (Mark 12:1-12). Once this vineyard had been established by the owner, he leased it out and went away to a far country. At the time of the harvest, he had an expectation, but unfortunately those vineyard workers did not faithfully carry out his expectations. There was a consequence as a result of their disobedience.
In the first section of Isaiah 5 the cause of G-d’s displeasure is revealed to us (Isaiah 5:1-4). The main cause was due to the fact that His people failed in fulfilling His expectations. The second section of Isaiah 5 (Isaiah 5:5-30) deals primarily with the consequences of this failure.
v1: Beloved: This is a term of endearment. We can be assured that G-d is a G-d of love. G-d is the Beloved One and He gives and demonstrates great love to His people. The problem was that the people had not responded to G-d’s love. There are consequences for not responding to His love (John 3:16-18).
- His vineyard: Referring to G-d’s people (see Isaiah 5:7). G-d is invested in His people (they are ‘His’).
- Fruitful hill: This refers to a place/location that reflects the blessedness or goodness of G-d. It was a place of great fruitfulness. G-d’s covenant people were placed in a fertile location, in a place where G-d expected much fruit.
v2: Dug it up: Cultivated it. G-d prepared the land.
- Cleared out its stones: If we want to have a fruitful vineyard not only does the ground need to be softened and broken up, but all the obstacles (rocks, stones etc) have to be removed. G-d did this. He prepared His people. He removed those things that would inhibit fruit from being produced.
- Choicest vine: This was one of the best quality vines that could be had. G-d spared no expense. He provided the very best for His people – for Judah.
- A tower: It was well protected.
- He expected it to bring forth good grapes: This vineyard had everything it needed in order to be successful, everything that it needed to fulfil the expectations of the vineyard owner.
- Grapes: The first word used for ‘grapes’ refers to normal, useable grapes. These grapes were fitting (appropriate) for producing good wine.
- Wild grapes: There was nothing that could be done with the fruit. It was worthless and as a result was rejected. G-d’s people, despite having everything they could have desired at their disposal, produced worthless/inferior fruit.
v3: Now: This word carries with it a degree of urgency.
- Judge: G-d wants them to make an evaluation. He wants them to consider all the facts and reach the correct conclusion. He wants them to consider whether their works are fulfilling or meeting His expectations. Did their works please Him? Do ours?
v4: What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?: G-d is asking an important question. He wants to know what else He could have provided, prepared etc in order that this vineyard would have been better equipped to fulfil His expectations.
- Expected: Hoped. There is an inherent relationship between hope/expectation and the promises of G-d. G-d has been faithful and true to His promise. He has done everything that was necessary to be done so that there would be good grapes/produce. He wanted to experience joy in His people, and He wanted them to experience joy (wine is related to joy – Ecclesiastes 9:7), but He was not able to rejoice in them and nor did they experience the joy and satisfaction of a good and pleasing harvest.