Sunday, May 08, 2016

The wild grapes of Judah

Some have called as the last two-thirds of Isaiah 5 "Judah’s Grapes of Wrath". The prophet pronounces six "woes", interspersed with four "therefores". 

Isaiah 5:4-5
...when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down...

The vineyard is Israel, which brought forth these "wild grapes":
  • Greed and self-promotion: join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth
  • Pleasure and self-indulgence: rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them...they regard not the work of the Lord
  • Presumption and  rash defiance: draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it
  • Perversion and self-vindication: call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness
  • Pride and self-satisfaction: wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight
  • Power and false judicature: are mighty to drink wine...Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him
The end of the useless field is its destruction.
  • Verses 13-16 Therefore...
Appropriate to their self-promotion and self-indulgence in multiplying wealth and pleasure, they will lose their land (go into captivity), experience hunger and thirst, be humbled and be ruined by death and hell (Their appetite meets one more insatiable than their own v. 14, Cf. Prov. 30:15-16). "But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness."
  • Verses 24-30 Therefore...
Appropriate to their rash defiance, self-vindication, self-satisfaction, and  false judicature, the Lord will speedily repay those who challenged "Let him make speed." Those who consented to sin and issued false judgment will now submit to God's justice. The warnings did not appease God's wrath, and now they must prepare to meet God, whose anger is not abated and whose hand is still stretched out in judgment. God will bring against Judah an insurmountable enemy who will exercise his judgment upon them, and there is no turning back. 

Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

self-promotion: the action of promoting or publicizing oneself, especially in a forceful way. 
self-indulgence: indulging one's own desires, passions, whims, etc., especially without restraint. 
rash defiance: a hasty, daring or bold resistance to authority. 
self-vindication: defense or justification of one's thoughts or behavior. 
self-satisfaction: excessive satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements; smug complacency.
false judicature: partisan administration of justice.

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