Abide in the Vine!
By Jill Briscoe
And planted it with the choicest vine. ~ Isaiah 5:2
After fencing His vineyard, Jehovah did everything necessary to ensure good fruit, including planting the fertile soil with “the choicest vine.” The word sorek, used to describe the plant, is the name of an especially fruitful species. The rest of the world had not been cultivated by divine revelation. Only Israel received the pure religion, the excellent law. Ordinances that would help the Israelites keep up their acquaintance with God had been carefully and prayerfully instituted. But God’s chosen ones became a wild vine unto Him (see Jer. 2:21), and because Israel would not listen to reason, the Lord took away “the hedge,” rained no rain upon them (see Jer. 3:3) and the land was trampled underfoot by their enemies. But Jehovah promised that He would preserve the few who believed and that from the stock would come the very choicest of vines - Jesus Christ. Our Savior used this vineyard metaphor in the Gospels, saying, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1).
Did you realize you have been planted with the choicest vine? His Father is your Father and mine - the Husbandman. The fruits of Christ’s spirit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (see Gal. 5:22) will grow within us and show without us when the branch abides quietly in the vine, is pruned into usefulness, and is nourished by faith. Fruit hangs on the outside of the tree - displaying the tree’s nature, enhancing the tree’s beauty, and refreshing those who partake of it.
When we are inwardly submissive, we are outwardly obedient – and a hungry world is glad!
Lord, help me to remember that You are the choicest vine. All the best things in my life come from staying close to You. I want my life to produce wonderful fruit – not so that I will be well thought of, but so that the people around me will be drawn to You and fed by You. Let my goal be to be increasingly obedient, walking close to You. Amen.