From The Institute For Creation Research

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October 21, 2018
The Vine
“What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:4)

In Scripture we find many references to vines and vineyards, but there are three major passages that together reveal three aspects concerning the character of God and His love for His people.

The first, Isaiah 5:1-7, includes our text. Here we find that God, the owner, planter, and caretaker of the vineyard, cannot contain His disappointment, for despite the loving care showered upon the vine, it has brought forth improper, worthless fruit. In this parable, “the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant” (v. 7), the chosen people who had seen more clearly than anyone else His abundant provision, but who had chosen to reject Him and not bear Him fruit. To them, and to those of us who reject His cultivating grace, He says: “I will lay it waste” (v. 6).

Psalm 80:8-19 gives us a picture of the abject desolation of the unfruitful vineyard once it is abandoned by the vinedresser. It is ravaged by enemies, wild animals, and fire, utterly helpless. The “vine” (Israel) may cry for help and restoration, but there are consequences to be paid. What a graphic picture this is, and what a reminder to believers today that we cannot for long ignore His will for our lives.

The last and most precious passage is found in John 15:1-16 and concerns fruitbearing. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (v. 5). Here are found the secrets of the believer’s growth and fertility in glorious union with Christ. “Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (v. 8). JDM

Night Light For Couples

When the Top Flies Off

“Be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11

Because of our family ministry and Jim’s background as a psychologist, I sometimes wonder if people think that our marriage is somehow “different”—that we live in a dreamlike state of wedded bliss where conflict doesn’t exist. Believe me, that’s just not the case. We do our share of fussing and face the same struggles you do, whether it’s motivated by fatigue, worry about the kids, not communicating our expectations properly, or something else.

I recall an incident after we were engaged that seems funny now, but wasn’t so amusing at the time. Jim owned a 1949 Mercury convertible called “Old Red.” It was a disaster. The top wouldn’t go up or down; the electric windows didn’t work; the lights sometimes went out unexpectedly; and the engine had a habit of dying regularly. Every Sunday afternoon we took it out for a push. Worse, the front seat had springs sticking out at odd angles that snagged my clothes and made for a most uncomfortable ride. I hated that car, but Jim didn’t want to go into debt to buy a new one.

The coup de grace came the day Jim picked me up for an important job interview. I was wearing my best outfit, a black suit. As we sped down the road at fifty miles per hour, the convertible top suddenly blew off. Bits of string and canvas beat at our heads as dust flew everywhere. The remnants of the old top hooked onto the back of the car and flapped in the air like Superman’s cape.

Jim was so irritated at the car that he wouldn’t stop. He just kept barreling down the highway with the ribs of the top glistening above us. I screamed at him from under the dashboard, where I was crouched to escape the pieces of Old Red that were still flying about. Between his car falling apart and my screaming, Jim got even angrier.

Somehow we survived the day when both of us—and Old Red—blew our tops. Jim bought a newer car a few months later and, more importantly, we didn’t call off our engagement!

That’s how life is when you climb into the marvelous vehicle called marriage. You’re in for a long and wonderful ride. Expect the unexpected to happen. It will probably rattle your nerves and set you at odds with each other, and the top may even blow off every now and then. But if you share a committed love, you can survive those unexpected and unwanted conflicts. We have—for forty years now.

Shirley M Dobson

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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