Did you recognize the church here as being God’s vineyard? We see Leviathan as the enemy of God’s created order. Whether it’s meant to be Satan, Babylon, or something else is unknown. What is important to note is that God will punish and kill it. Evil will, at last, be no more.
“In that day, sing about the fruitful vineyard. I, the Lord, will watch over it, watering it carefully. Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.” God’s people are that vineyard. We are being watched over and cared for. When enemies attack, God will destroy them, unless they beg for mercy. It is always God’s hope that people will turn from their evil ways. “Let them make peace with me; yes, let them make peace with me.”
We are reminded again how God can prune his people. Sometimes we need to be trimmed back so that we can blossom more fully. Can you think of a time when you were headed in a wrong direction spiritually? You may have felt like you had it all together, and then something unexpected happened. You changed course. Maybe you suffered a deep hurt or loss. Then you bounced back stronger. You may have been pruned as a vine in God’s vineyard.
God did that to Israel, too. He arranged for Israel to be “exiled from her land as though blown away in a storm from the east. The Lord did this to purge Israel’s wickedness, to take away all her sin. As a result, all the pagan altars will be crushed to dust. No Asherah pole or pagan shrine will be left standing.” After a time, Israel blossomed again. Sometimes we all need to go through a valley to appreciate the mountaintop just that much more. If you are in a valley right now, stand firm in your faith knowing that God will bring you to the other side.
“Yet the time will come when the Lord will gather them together like handpicked grain.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be handpicked by God. I want him to find me worthy to do his work. In recent days, I have felt especially close to God. I have had to endure some trials that have made doing what I do a lot more grueling and unpleasant. It would have been so easy for me to get lost in my own frustration rather than look at the beauty of what has been given to me.
I know these obstacles are temporary. I want to be faithful in the storm. My attitude in response is my choice. I have caught myself on more than one occasion heading down “Negative Alley”, trying to make a turn onto the “Avenue of Irritation.” Each time, I catch myself, reframe my thinking, and find something to be grateful for. Pruning will happen. I’m just looking forward to the blooms to come.
Take some time today to think about the sweet wine your life can become when you live for God.
Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you for the good and bad things happening in my life. I trust you are beside me each step of the way. Even when I am feeling frustrated and exhausted, I know you are there cheering me on. Help me never lose sight of the reason you have placed me on this earth. My purpose is to give you praise from the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.