Isaiah 5 Part 1–The Vineyard Story

Isaiah shares the pain of the Lord in a practical way.  God invested so much time and energy to prepare, protect,  and provide for Israel. From the moment He led them from Egypt, He cared and led the chosen people into a promised Land.  His goal was always for Israel to be His ambassadors to the world.  They were to remain separate from the cultures of the world–all the while, leading the world to a loving Father.

Sadly, repeatedly, when Israel became prosperous, they walked away from God. Rather than leading the world to the Lord, they chased the world and all that sparkled and shined. Like the parable alluded, rather than producing lives for the Lord, they produced more sin and hedonism. God tried everything to bring the people back, judges, kings, and prophets–none could turn the people from their sin. So, like the vineyard owner, God took down the protection and the prosperity He provided and allowed Israel to reap the consequence of their behaviors and choices.

It was a heartbreak for the vineyard owner, God, to let the world overrun what He had spent so many years building.  At that point, God knew nothing would change the hearts of the people He freed and restored.  He let them do what they wanted and just removed His protections and provisions. He loved His chosen and hated to see them continue to live independent of His leadership. Like the vineyard owner, God tried everything to restore the hearts of the people,  but He is not foolish and knew it was time to walk away.

For us and our current world, God has patiently waited for us to return the values of our forefathers.  Selflessness and honor were the cornerstones of society. As prosperity grew, those values receded to make way for materialism and pride.  Each person has become the center of their own universes, without any regard for others.  After generations of slowly abandoning God and the values He placed in the world–God knocked down the vineyard walls and closed the watchtower.

Chaos has ensued. Families have crumbled and authority has been disregarded.  The wolves of the world have now infiltrated and destroyed the foundations God put in place.  To God, it is a heartbreak. For us, it is time to repent and to return to the values of our forefathers.  Help me Lord to return to the values you placed in this world so that we can once again follow you and enjoy your restoration.

God Bless You


Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?

And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;[a]
I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
    is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
    are his pleasant planting;
and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;[b]
for righteousness,
    but behold, an outcry!

Isaiah 3 Part 1 They Did This to Themselves

The recurring message of Isaiah was and is God is pulling away His hand of Protection and allowing those that are his own to face the consequence of their actions.  As any father would say, “If you think you are so independent, GO FOR IT! In Isaiah’s prophecy what does that look like, it is a matter of support and supply.

Israel and specifically Judah had grown to expect God to meet their every wish and desire.  Protection, provision and prominence were the expectation for the folks in Israel.  So, the word was Given to Isaiah–I am pulling my support and supply.  All food and water, all military and civil protection and all wisdom and leadership will now be up to you.  You are going to be run by punks.  You are going to be led by immature and inexperienced children.  They will crumble and fall–naked and ashamed. They will be unable to recover because they are too busy bickering and blaming.

They will turn on each other–siblings, parents, friends.  They will be led away–cities in ruin and spirit broken they will become slaves and sycophants to their masters.Isaiah called them out–You have become militantly sinful praising your rebellion as a show of pride and courage. 

So be it! For you, there is a reckoning awaiting.  The righteous will be spared but the rest of you will have nothing left to hope for because the judgement is real. What an incredibly sad message. 

 In our lives, we have to understand that God’s judgement is not a beating he brings on us; it is so much worse.  It is Him simply removing His protection and His support. 

When that happens, those under his care become immediately vulnerable to the outcome of their pitiful choices.  They simply reap all that has grown from what they have sewn.  Please, Lord, do not remove your protection from those whom you have loved.  Help us to stand in your shadow and follow you closely and humbly.

God Bless You


For behold, the Lord God of hosts
    is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,[a]
    all support of bread,
    and all support of water;
the mighty man and the soldier,
    the judge and the prophet,
    the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty
    and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
    and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes,
    and infants[b] shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
    every one his fellow
    and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
    and the despised to the honorable.

Stealing Hearts–2 Samuel 15 part 1

God’s prophecy was coming true. After years of pursuit and civil war; after establishing a united kingdom—David’s sin had unraveled all that God had built.  His Son Absolom was starting a revolution, but, in a different way—he was stealing the hearts of the people.  No violence, no disrespect—a smile and a hug.  Absolom promised justice and help and slowly, after years of gentle deception, he was ready to steal God’s throne from his father.  Problem was, God was neither surprised nor ready to deviate from his plan. 

While the people may have been fooled by Absolom’s ploy, God was not.  Things are the same today. Men are always about promising to be the one to care about our needs and justice for all.  Sometimes they are even convincing, but, truth be told, they are furthering their own agendas.  They press forward and ultimately tip their hand.  When their true nature is revealed, they have only their own desires in mind.  That is why we are to seek and follow God.  Men will always disappoint us and deceive us—But God is faithful to do what he promises and lead us to freedom.  We have to be wary of the promises of men and faithful in seeking the leadership of God

God Bless You

15 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”

Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

I Samuel 18 final—The Price of Fear

Fear is a crippling disease. It binds senses and causes perfectly decent people to do awful things.  Saul was anointed King of Israel.  He allowed the position make him selfish.  That selfishness drove him away from God and cost him his relationship with Samuel, and ended his legacy. It also made him extremely fearful.  He was deathly afraid of losing all that he had attained. Sadly, he had already lost it. But the fear also shaped his decisions, his relationships and his ability to lead.  He saw David’s success and knew that he was walking with God’s anointing.  He knew it because he had lived it.  He also knew that privilege was only afforded to Kings! Rather than repent and humbly follow the plan of God Saul was allowing fear to drive him to do mean and horrific things.

Today, we are all subject to fear. We know that God does not give us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power and of a sound mind (2Timothy 1:7).  Yet, when we try to be independent and ignore God’s plan—we, like Saul can be driven to fear and away from the peace of God.  Great news, though, If we will acknowledge our inability to live independent of God—Confess our sin; then humbly allow him to direct our journey—follow his lead; then he will give us peace. God is in the business of granting peace not causing Chaos.  He is there to bear our burden not cause it. It is the greatest of all heart issues—Commandment Number One—YOU SHALL NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GOD BEFORE ME!!!!! Let God be God in your life.  Fear will be replaced with peace and independence will be replaced with true and complete freedom.

God Bless You

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[a] spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns…

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

I Samuel 15 part 3–Arrogance and Rebellion

 There is a point that is too far. As we journey with the Lord, there comes a time when our arrogance and rebellion set the stage for the remainder of the journey. Cain’s murder of Abel, Samson telling Delilah his secret, and Saul’s decision to run the battle his way were turning points in the lives of these men.  It was at that point they rejected God and he rejected them.  See, as most fathers, God wants for us to be free and blessed.  But as we continue to fight him for our independence, he will ultimately oblige us and allow us to be independent of him and let us struggle with the bondage and misery our independence brings.

We should not favor independence, we should favor freedom.  When God led his people out of Egypt, he was leading them to freedom from slavery.  As they followed–they were truly free. The more they tried to walk away from him, the more they found themselves in bondage. The same holds true for us.  If we can submit to his leadership and truly seek him, we will be free—free to follow and free to experience his peace and provision. But the more we wrestle with him over who will be boss of our lives, the more we find ourselves entrapped and enslaved. Our arrogance and rebellion will be perceived as witchcraft and idolatry.  Truly, the god we then worship is ourselves.  Just as Saul was building a monument to himself at the battle with the Amalekites.   It is simple, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness—and all the remains will be added to you.  Help me Lord to avoid arrogance and rebellion in my life.

God Bless You

But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”