Okay friends, on to chapter 5.
Some interesting imagery here, a well tended vineyard given every attention by the husbandman, and yet it bears wild grapes. We are told that the vineyard symbolizes the nation of Israel in verse 7, and that the Lord was removing the protective *hedge* from them as a punishment in verse 5.
What follows is not pretty. When God removes His favor, it never is.
In verse 24 (b) we are given the reason for the harvest of wild grapes, the reason God removes the hedge: "for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel."
What follows is a great big mess. Still, I am reminded of so many other passages in scripture where it is clear that God responds when His people repent. Not just when they are miserable and reaping the consequences of their evils deeds, but when they truly repent.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 is a good example: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
The concept of repentance is all throughout the Bible. I love this quote by J.I Packer, "Repentance means altering one's habits of thought, one's attitudes, outlook, policy, direction, and behavior, just as fully as is needed to get one's life out of the wrong shape and into the right one. Repentance is a spiritual revolution."
Friends, are there any areas in your heart and life where you need a spiritual revolution? May we seek Him this week and find out, and yield to His will in all things. If we don't, we are surely guaranteed a big mess.
Your thoughts? Please leave them in the comments box. :)