What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? – Isa. 5:4 NIV
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The Prophet Isaiah was a prophet of the Most High who although prophesied from Judah, had messages for both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel. Classed by Bible scholars amongst the major prophets of bible times, his period of prophecy cut across the reign of five kings of Judah with the focus of most of his messages being the need for the people of God to desist from their evil ways if they are to avoid the imminent anger and wrath of Jehovah.
The fifth chapter of the biblical book named after him revealed the frustration of God with the Israelites in Judah about how all he has done did not yield the expected result since they refused to desist from their wicked acts. Comparing His relationship with Judah to that between lovers and using the efforts that a gardener who is in expectation of good harvest puts into a vineyard, he reeled out all His efforts at making them productive. He talked of how He cleaned them up, invested in them to give them value and built protection around them to prevent intruders from illegal access to them. He mentioned how He made them self-sufficient by providing all they will need to produce good results that He could delight in and that will justify His efforts, only to be presented with bad fruits – Isa. 5:1-2. In frustration, He asked them to judge the situation themselves starting from assessing His own role, if He had not done enough to make them produce good fruits, wondering why despite all His investments in them, all He will have are bad fruits – Isa. 5:3-4.
If He could not be faulted, then the fault would have to lie with them. In frustration and to avoid further wastage of resources, financial and emotional, He took the decision to remove all the protection that they were enjoying against external aggression, to personally destroy them trampling on them and turning them into a people with no value, such that all who hitherto associated them with success will start considering them as unproductive and fruitless people – Isa. 5:4-6. They had suddenly become undeserving of all His goodness and mercy.
Whatever anyone may think, Jehovah has shown through the scriptures that He is a shrewd investor through the activities of His son Jesus Christ. On two occasions, the first when Jesus Christ told the disciples to gather remnants of what was remaining after feeding five thousand, with the caution that nothing must be allowed to waste (Jn. 6:12), and the second being the advise and his expressed anger in reaction to the servant that buried his talent instead of investing it so that profit can accrue (Matt. 25:14-30), He made it clear that He will always be in expectation of profit with regards to any investment that He makes.
The Christian would be expected to have this in mind, especially when He grants all those requests for one form of advantage or the other. Truth be told, He considers all those blessings that you are enjoying as investments, and He will return at some point to demand for the Return on Investment. The repercussion can be very grave if He shows up and the beneficiary of His goodness has no commensurate profit to render.
In the case of the Israelites of the Southern kingdom, He made them lose value, exposed them to attacks from external aggressors and they lost all the honour that they would normally receive from people. You may also need to be sure that you have met His expectation based on His investment in your life as not been able to do so may just be the reason behind all those challenges that you are presently experiencing. He probably has withdrawn all that protection and value He placed on and around you, and so you became suddenly defenseless against enemy attacks and valueless before people who hitherto honoured you. You may need to plead with Him to forgive your transgressions and grant you another opportunity. He is a merciful God and He may just accept your pleas.
It may however be that He is yet to visit you but that is not sufficient for you to conclude that He will not come as He will surely come and you will be better off using the time you have, awaiting His arrival, to ensure that you get the best out of His investment in you. You and all around you may consider all those blessings and prosperity that you are enjoying as a huge advantage but it will only be so if you see it as an investment in you, by Him, that He is expecting to generate commensurate profit for Him at some point. That is the only way you will be prepared to render an account that will not leave Him frustrated and He will consider sufficient to save you from pain and danger in this world and in the life after life. May God grant us the wisdom to use His investment in us profitably in Jesus name. Amen.