Text: Isaiah 27:2-13
If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “Restoring His Vineyard.” The LORD will show us, through Isaiah, that we cannot restore ourselves, but the LORD will restore us, if we repent. Then He will make us fruitful!
All of this chapter is meant to awaken His people in Judah to their need to repent. So for them, this is a chapter filled with warnings, using His judgment of Jacob as a powerful example.
But know this — Jesus Christ also speaks through these scriptures, to believers who have sinned against Him and loved the god of self. As Paul says, when he exhorts and warns the believers at Corinth —
1Corinthians 10:6, 11 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved . . . 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Verse 2 —
“In that day.” What day? The day that He punishes Satan and the Antichrist? I do not think so. That is why I included Verse 1 with Chapter 26, which spoke of their punishment. In this case, “in that day” refers to the day His people repent and completely turn away from their sin and return to Him. Certainly, it is also eschatological, prophetic of the end times, when the temporary blindness, the partial hardening of His people will end —
Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in . . .
When they repent, the reverse of Isaiah 5 will be true. And it will be true for you, O believer, when you repent! The vine He planted, which was Israel, will no longer bear poisonous berries, but will be a vineyard of delight! Sing of it! Not only will they and you sing, but He will sing —
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.
He will exult (laugh) over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love (He will renew you in His love), He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy (He will spin around and sing).
Verse 3 —
Before Israel strayed, He took care of His vineyard. In the day that they repent, He returns as its keeper — Jesus says, “My Father is the vinedresser. (see John 15:1).
As its keeper, the LORD will once again water it every moment so that no one will damage (punish) it. He will again guard it night and day. Thus, it will be fruitful! It is a picture of the fruitfulness that comes when you repent and are restored to Him.
What fruit will you bear, since Christ has come? He will make you bear His fruit, when you are filled with His Holy Spirit and the god of self is dead —
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control . . . (actually, Spirit control)
Verse 4 —
In that day, when you repent, He will have no more wrath toward you. He will remove you from His wrath. What is the meaning of the briars and thorns?
In Isaiah 5, briars and thorns grew up in His vineyard because He no longer pruned and hoed it. But now they are no longer under His judgment, for they have returned to Him!
Therefore, He will forever keep briars and thorns from growing up in His vineyard again. He promises not only that He will keep them, as their Vinedresser, but also that He will be a Victorious Warrior for them, trampling down and burning that which their enemies (and for us, Satan) tries to plant.
And it will be the same for you, in that day, when you repent!
Verse 5 —
NOTE: My NAS Bible’s translation confuses the meaning by its translation method, so I went to the Interlinear Bible for the Hebrew-to-English direct translation.
So, from the original Hebrew-to-English, it is a question from the LORD. Will he (Jacob, per Verse 6) rely on My protection (will He lay hold of my strength)? Will he make peace with Me? Let him make peace with Me. He welcomes them to make peace with Him!
Jesus Christ says, “Blessed are the peacemakers (those who make peace with God), for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)!
Verse 6 —
In the days to come, Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout. And they will fill the whole world with fruit.
Modern Israel is the breadbasket for the Middle East. They have sophisticated irrigation systems that provide their bountiful crops. But again, when they return to the LORD, recognize Christ as their Messiah, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, the blossom, the sprout, and the fruit will be of the Holy Spirit, not of man’s wisdom and ways. They will be watered with His living water, and will water others with His water —
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Verses 7-8 —
These are rhetorical questions. Israel knows they were stricken and slaughtered. Isaiah confirms that the LORD struck them with His striking. Striking, struck, struck. They have been thoroughly judged by Him.
Isaiah confirms that the LORD slaughtered them and they were slain. Slaughter, slain, slain. They have been thoroughly judged by Him.
He contended with (rebuked) them by banishing them from the land. He drove them away from His presence. His fierce wind expelled them, on the day of the east wind. In Jeremiah 4:11, the LORD describes it as a scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness. It is this wind that will also strike Judah, 150 years later, when He banishes them from the land.
Again, this is a warning to Judah, and to you, O believer. Look at what He did to Jacob! Judah saw Jacob’s punishment, and did not repent. Will you?
Verse 9 —
What will be the price of the pardoning of Jacob’s sin? Through this, Jacob’s iniquity (perversity, sin) will be forgiven, and this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin —
When Jacob makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stone, and when Asherim and incense altars (sun pillars) will not stand (shall not rise). The full price of the pardoning of their sin is to totally destroy everything false that they have worshiped — all false gods, whose root is the god of self, and all the implements of worship, including idols and altars.
He asks you to do the same — but He will be the one who crucifies the sin nature in you that leads you to worship you. When will He do it? When you repent, O believer, and ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit! That is the price of the pardoning of your sin against Him!
Verses 10-11 —
Isaiah prophesies to Judah, saying, “Look at the fortified city of Samaria!” It will be isolated (desolate). It will be a habitation that is forlorn and forsaken. It will be like the desert.
Instead of the golden calves worshiped in northern Israel at Bethel and Dan, real calves will graze in the desolate places. And real calves will consume its branches, stripping them of all their green shoots so that nothing will grow on them.
When its limbs are dry because the vine has died for lack of green leaves, the continued blindness of Jacob will be astoundingly evident! Their women will come along and say, “Oh, let us gather these as firewood,” and then make a fire with them. There is no thought of repentance among them!
So the LORD says they are not a people of discernment — they have no wisdom, or they would say, “Look at the LORD’s judgment upon us! Let us repent!”
Ah! It is the same today! Many are in ruins because they have forsaken the LORD and continue to sin against Him. But they do not see that their condition is His judgment. O believer, I see that you simply pick up the dry branch of your life after the Lord has judged your sin, and you try to make something of that dry branch! You do not say, “Look at the Lord’s judgment of me! I repent!” Thus you have no discernment —
Here is what Jesus says about fruitless vines —
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
Because they have no discernment regarding His judgment and therefore do not repent, their Maker will not have compassion on them, and their Creator will not be gracious to them. He is compassionate, but He is also just and righteous, beloved. If you defy Him, He will not be compassionate toward you, nor gracious toward you. He will discipline and punish you, so that you will return to Him and ask Him to forgive you!
Verse 12 —
“In that day.” What day? The day Jacob destroys every false thing they have worshiped. Then the LORD will start threshing (beat off, as in harvest, in order to gather the grain). Where will He thresh? From the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt — all the places where He has scattered His people. He will gather them up one-by-one.
And He will do the same for you, when you destroy every false thing you have worshiped — even the god of self. He will gather you up from the place to which He scattered you. Oh the kindness of the Lord, if you will repent and ask Him to forgive you!
Verse 13 —
Now we return to the eschatological gathering of His scattered ones. In that great day a trumpet will be blown, as I showed you in Session 25. And those who were perishing in exile in the land of Assyria and were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
Certainly, this happened when Israel was granted statehood, in 1948. There has been a great aliyah, a return to Israel of Jews from across the globe. And they have come to Mount Zion at Jerusalem.
But their temple remains in ruins. The Temple Institute has created all of the temple’s implements of worship — vessels, garments, the altar — with the goal of rebuilding the temple on Mount Moriah. But the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. as a judgment on them for rejecting His Son whom He sent. Their blindness is astounding! They do not see that He does not live in temples made with human hands, but that He will gladly dwell in the heart of man whom He created with His hands!
There will be a time, says the LORD, when they will wake up! Many who were perishing in exile and scattered across the globe will come and worship the LORD on the new Mount Zion, not only the one in heaven, but the one that He will create on the earth. The LORD will gather them.
It is a word of encouragement for those who repent and ask Him to forgive them. If you repent and believe into Jesus Christ, He will forgive your sin.
If you are a sinning believer and return to Him, He will restore you. Even now, you will be released from exile. And when you obey Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with His Spirit, He will do it, and He and His Father and the Holy Spirit will indwell you permanently. Then you will no longer willfully disobey Him!
Lord Jesus, may believers see this warning, and this promise for those who repent and ask You to forgive them. You will restore them from their ruins, and if they obey you, they will be filled with You forever. Amen, Lord! So be it.