Caring for the Vineyard
In that day sing to her, ‘A vineyard of red wine! I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day’ (v. 2–3). (Isaiah 27:1–6)
Returning to our study of Isaiah, we read that God compares His people to a vineyard, and not just any vineyard, but one of red wine—a symbol of excellence. To keep a vineyard healthy, two things must be done. First, it must be cultivated; the vines must be pruned and watered, and the soil must be enriched. Second, it must be guarded from animals that would trample it or insects that would eat its fruit, for a cultivated vineyard that is left unprotected cannot flourish.
God here reassures His people that they will be taken care of by His own hand. By His power and might, He will protect the church from the Leviathan, a symbol of dark forces opposing God’s people. Though Satan be sly, using innumerable devices to advance his agenda in this world, the Lord knows him. He knows the ways of the devil and can defeat him at every turn. We, therefore, do not need to fear Satan; our trust is in the Lord God, the one who cares for us and guards us by His power. He is a shield over us and a refuge from the storm. Though Satan be permitted for a time to strengthen and defend his kingdom, the Lord will destroy him by His sword.
John Calvin, commenting on this promise given to the church, says, “God shows that the time for war is not yet ended, and that we must fight bravely till that enemy be subdued, who, though he has been a hundred times vanquished, ceases not to renew warfare. We must therefore fight with him continually, and must resist the violent attacks which he makes upon us; but, in order that we may not be discouraged, we must keep our eye on that day when Satan’s strong arm shall be broken.… In order that the Church may be restored, Satan and all his kingdom shall be utterly destroyed. The object of all the vengeance which God takes on His enemies is to show that He takes care of the Church.”
Though we often rebel against our heavenly Father, He shows us in this passage that His anger cannot rise above the warmth of His love for us. He might chastise us for our sins and bring us to repentance. He might subdue us by hard trials and reduce our numbers as He winnows the chaff from our midst. But He will save us from our enemies because He has set His love upon us and will never leave us or forsake us. Under this love, we can then go and bear much fruit.
Do you ever feel as if you are standing alone against the onslaught of Satan’s kingdom? Do you ever feel abandoned and forsaken? If you trust in Christ Jesus and have faith in Him, you can be assured that the Lord will never leave you. Trust in Him. Do not fear the ways of the enemy. Bear fruit of obedience to His glory and praise.
Passages for Further Study
Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 18:35, 37:17, 41:12; John 17:11, 1 Peter 5:8
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