Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

VIII. God's Indictment Of The False Vine Versus His Spiritual Victory Offered In The True Vine

(Isaiah 5:1-7; John 15:1-11)


I.                 Introduction

A.    Isaiah's name means, "Jahweh Is Salvation," and the need for God to be salvation from sin in the nation Judah is presented in Isaiah's song of the worthless vineyard in Isaiah 5:1-7.

B.     Thankfully, Christ is that salvation as noted in John 15:1-11, so we view both passages for our edification:

II.              God's Indictment Of The False Vine Versus His Spiritual Victory Offered In The True Vine.

A.    God indicted the False Vine of His people in Judah and Jerusalem, Isaiah 5:1-7:

1.      The first stanza of Isaiah's song of the false vine, Isaiah 5:1-2, tells how Isaiah's beloved, the Lord, planted a vineyard on a fertile hillside expecting to produce a good crop of edible grapes, Isaiah 5:1.

2.      God fenced it, gathered out the stones that would have involved much work as "there are many stones in Israel," He planted it with the best vines, He built a tower in it to watch for animals and thieves lest they steal the grapes and He built a winepress in the vineyard to process the grapes at harvest, Isaiah 5:2a,b.

3.      However, when He looked for a harvest of good grapes, it brought forth bitter, wild grapes, Isaiah 5:2c.

4.      Consequently, God through Isaiah asked the nation Judah and its capital city of Jerusalem to judge between Him and His vineyard to evaluate which entity had failed, Isaiah 5:3.  Indeed, God asked the people what more could He have done in the vineyard to bring forth good and not wild grapes, Isaiah 5:4.

5.      Since God could have done nothing more, the blame for the poor production lay with the vineyard, so God said He would take away its protective wall so that it would be eaten up and trodden down (Isaiah 5:5), He would lay it waste, not pruning or digging up the weeds so that briers and thorns would overgrow it and that He would command the clouds that they not rain on the vineyard, Isaiah 5:6.

6.      God then claimed the vineyard was Israel [including Judah]: He had established the nation and had looked for it to produce justice (mishpot), but behold it yielded bloodshed (mishpoh), He looked for righteousness (sedaqah), but behold a cry of distress (se'aqah), what the oppressed expressed when abused by wicked rulers, Isaiah 5:7; B. K. C., O. T., p. 1042; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isaiah 5:7.

B.     Thankfully, there is a solution to this spiritual production failure, one described in John 15:1-11 (as follows):

1.      In John 15:1a, Jesus claimed, "I am the true vine," contrasting Himself with the Isaiah 5:1-7 false vine of Israel [including Judah].  Thus, where man by his sinful nature cannot produce righteousness (Rom. 7:22-24), Jesus as the righteous Vine equips men through Him to produce righteousness!

2.      John 15:1b-11 explains how this production can occur in the believer's life today (as follows):

                             a.         God the Father oversees the production as the farmer, John 15:1b.  The branches are believers (John 15:5a), and those who do not bear the fruit of righteousness the Father takes away, and every believer who produces righteous deeds the Father prunes that he may bear even more righteous deeds, John 15:2.

                            b.         This pruning work is achieved in the believer's exposure to and thus obedience of Scripture, John 15:3.

                             c.         Jesus then explained that bearing the fruit of righteous deeds is accomplished by the believer's "abiding in" Christ, for unless a branch abides in the vine it cannot produce fruit, John 15:4.

                            d.         However, if he abides in Christ, one produces much righteousness, so the believer either produces much righteousness or he produces none if he does not abide in Christ, John 15:5.  One should thus want to abide in Christ, for otherwise he like a worthless branch is pruned away and burned up, or disciplined, John 15:6.

                             e.         Jesus explained that abiding in Him meant having Christ's words abide in one and applied to his life, and that when this occurred, such a believer would get answers to whatever he asked God in prayer, John 15:7.

                             f.          The Lord also explained the Father was glorified if the believer bore much fruit, what occurred when he heeded God's Word, John 15:8-10.  Such a way of life would leave the believer with Christ's joy remaining in him and grant him fullness of joy in his own being, John 15:11.

                            g.         [We also know from Romans 8:3-4 that relying on the Holy Spirit equips a believer to heed Scripture!]


Lesson: Where Judah's people hopelessly and unhappily failed to produce righteousness, the believer today who relies on the Holy Spirit to heed and apply Scripture will produce much righteous deeds amid fullness of joy!


Application: (1) May live righteously by relying on God to heed Scripture!  (2) May we heed God's "pruning" by His Word to clarify where we need to address sin in our lives that we might be even more productive and happy.