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November 5, 2020 7:00 pm
When we purchased our home, we also inherited an established grapevine. As gardening novices, my family invested considerable time learning how to prune, water, and care for it. When our first harvest came, I popped a grape from the vine into my mouth—only to be disappointed with an unpleasant, sour taste.
The frustration I felt about painstakingly tending a grapevine, only to have a bitter harvest, echoes the tone of Isaiah 5. There we read an allegory of God’s relationship to the nation of Israel. God, pictured as a farmer, had cleared the hillside of debris, planted good vines, built a watchtower for protection, and crafted a press to enjoy the results of his expected harvest (Isaiah 5:1–2). To the farmer’s dismay, the vineyard, representing Israel, produced sour-tasting grapes of selfishness, injustice, and oppression (v. 7). Eventually, God reluctantly destroyed the vineyard while saving a remnant of vines that someday would produce a good harvest.
In the gospel of John, Jesus revisits the vineyard illustration, saying, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5). In this parallel imagery Jesus pictures us, His followers, as grapevine branches connected to Him, the main vine. Now, as we remain connected to Jesus through prayerful reliance on His Spirit, we have direct access to the spiritual nourishment that will produce the sweetest fruit of all, love.
Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Today's reading titled the sweetest harvest was written by Lisa samara when we purchased our home we inherited an established grapevine as gardening novices. My family invested considerable time learning how to prune water and care for it when our first harvest came I popped a grape from the vine into my mouth, only to be disappointed with an unpleasant sour taste the frustration I felt about painstakingly attending a grapevine, only to have a bitter harvest echoes the tone of Isaiah 5. There we read in allegory of God's relationship to the nation of Israel God pictured as a farmer had cleared the hillside of debris planted good vines built a watchtower for protection and crafted a press to enjoy the results of his harvest to the farmer's dismay, the vineyard representing Israel produce sour tasting grapes of selfishness, injustice and oppression. Eventually, God reluctantly destroyed the vineyard while saving a remnant of vines that someday would produce a good harvest in the Gospel of John, Jesus revisits the vineyard illustration saying I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit in this parallel imagery Jesus pictures believers in him as grapevine branches connected to him. The main vine now as we remain connected to Jesus through prayerful reliance on his spirit. We have direct access to the spiritual nourishment that will produce the sweetest fruit of all love.
Today was Our Daily Bread devotional Scripture reading is from Isaiah chapter 5 verses one through seven. I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard. My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared of stones and planted it with the choicest fines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a wine press as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could have been done for my vineyard and I have done for it. When I look for good grapes. Why did it yield only bad. Now I will tell you what I'm going to do to my vineyard. I will take away its head and it will be destroyed. I will break down its wall and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland neither pruned nor cultivated in briars and thorns will grow their. I will command the clouds not to rain on it the vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel and the people of Judah are the vines.
He delighted in and he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. Let's pray dear Jesus, we've all experienced the bitter fruit of disappointment over things that we've invested a lot of time and energy and only for it not to work out on the way that we hoped. Maybe it's a big project at work or ministry effort at church, maybe even a child is walked away from you in these times remind us that you are the one in control over all these situations that you are not finished working and give us peace as we lean on and put our trust in you. It's in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread ministries