ISAIAH 4:2—5:7 (GNT)
Growing with God’s Word and Pursuing Justice and Peace
Isaiah 4:2—5:7: Today’s reading opens with the prophet describing a time when Jerusalem will be restored. It concludes with a song about a vineyard in which the sins of the people of Jerusalem and Judah are compared to sour grapes.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: ISAIAH 5:7A
Israel is the vineyard of the LORD Almighty; the people of Judah are the vines he planted.
JERUSALEM WILL BE RESTORED
2The time is coming when the Lord will make every plant and tree in the land grow large and beautiful. All the people of Israel who survive will take delight and pride in the crops that the land produces.3Everyone who is left in Jerusalem, whom God has chosen for survival, will be called holy.4By his power the Lord will judge and purify the nation and wash away the guilt of Jerusalem and the blood that has been shed there.5 Then over Mount Zion and over all who are gathered there, the Lord will send a cloud in the daytime and smoke and a bright flame at night. God’s glory will cover and protect the whole city.6His glory will shade the city from the heat of the day and make it a place of safety, sheltered from the rain and storm.
THE SONG OF THE VINEYARD
1 Listen while I sing you this song,
a song of my friend and his vineyard:
My friend had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2He dug the soil and cleared it of stones;
he planted the finest vines.
He built a tower to guard them,
dug a pit for treading the grapes.
He waited for the grapes to ripen,
but every grape was sour.
3So now my friend says, “You people who live in Jerusalem and Judah, judge between my vineyard and me.4Is there anything I failed to do for it? Then why did it produce sour grapes and not the good grapes I expected?
5“Here is what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge around it, break down the wall that protects it, and let wild animals eat it and trample it down.6I will let it be overgrown with weeds. I will not trim the vines or hoe the ground; instead, I will let briers and thorns cover it. I will even forbid the clouds to let rain fall on it.”
7Israel is the vineyard of the Lord Almighty;
the people of Judah are the vines he planted.
He expected them to do what was good,
but instead they committed murder.
He expected them to do what was right,
but their victims cried out for justice.
How is the restoration of Jerusalem described (4:2-6)? Verses 1-7 in chapter 5 are known as “The Song of the Vineyard,” a traditional wine harvest song used here to describe God’s relationship with the people of Israel and Judah. How is that relationship described? How would you describe God’s relationship with people today?