Isaiah 5:1-7, 11:1-5
This morning we continue through our exploration of the prophets under the guidance of our guest preacher Rev. Seth Stout. Here at Zion we say that we value many different expressions of Christian faith. And the best way to prove that is to actually hear different expressions of Christian faith. So we regularly make the effort to get someone besides me unpacking these Scriptures for you. Rev. Seth is a longtime friend of this congregation and it’s an honor and a pleasure to have him here again this morning. I don’t want to scoop anything that he’s going to say about the text. But before I begin reading this morning’s verses, I want to remind you that the prophets were people who used every tactic they could to get the people’s attention, including poetry and metaphor, which is what you are going to hear this morning. So hear these ancient words from the prophet Isaiah to the people in the southern kingdom of Judah.
Scripture: Isaiah 5:1-7
I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
but it yielded only bad fruit.
“Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
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?
Now I will tell you
what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will take away its hedge,
and it will be destroyed;
I will break down its wall,
and it will be trampled.
I will make it a wasteland,
neither pruned nor cultivated,
and briers and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
not to rain on it.”
The vineyard of the Lord Almighty
is the nation of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are the vines he delighted in.
And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
This is the word of God for all people.
Rev. Seth Stout