Accepting God’s Judgment

Key Verse: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
—Isaiah 5:20

Selected Scripture:
Isaiah 5:1-7, 20

GOD DECLARES WOE TO those persons who practice and harbor unrighteousness. They must suffer the consequences for their willful actions, and will have to accept his judgment in all things in due time. Evil doers have misrepresented the beauty and harmony of God’s marvelous purpose and character, and have substituted the things of darkness for the light of truth. Attempts have been made to blame God as a reason for such behavior, but no wrongdoing may ever be attributed to him. James expresses this well, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”—James 1:13

The selected scripture for this lesson is known as the parable of the vineyard. In the parable, preparations were made for a very special planting. Obstacles had been cleared from the field with a fence built around it, and an observation tower erected to protect it from enemies. The choicest specimens of vine were then selected for planting with a winepress nearby to harvest the crop.

The nation of Israel is the vineyard which had been carefully planted and nurtured by God, as recorded by the prophet. “The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant.” (Isa. 5:7) The Israelites were God’s chosen people and various symbols in this lesson point to the many arrangements that were made for their special inheritance and prominent role in the plan of God. The promised seed in which all the families of the earth were to be blessed, under the terms of a new and better covenant, was to be selected from the children of Israel.

After abundant care and effort, the fruitage became a disappointment to the Lord. “He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.” (Isa. 5:2) Instead of the expected abundant harvest the crop of wild grapes was small and sour tasting. During a long period of time, God’s protection and guidance continued with his people, together with the Divine promises of the future kingdom of righteousness.

At the time our Lord Jesus came unto his own people he was rejected by them, and their nation was laid waste. Concerning this Isaiah says, “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: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.” (vss. 5,6) Disobedience among the people that God blessed so richly led to utter destruction, and the nation was destroyed and its people scattered.

The lesson today for the Lord’s people, as spiritual Israelites, is to make themselves ready for a place in Christ’s kingdom. They must be of the proper heart condition to receive the great and precious promises. Failure to do this will result in God’s judgments, even as they were pronounced upon natural Israel.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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