May 6th - Chapter Fifteen

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May 6th - Chapter Fifteen

Post by James on Thu May 07, 2015 11:41 am

The subheading for this chapter is called Jerusalem, A Useless Vine.
Apart from the other two great prophets, Jeremiah and Isaiah which also talk about Jerusalem in the context of a vineyard, there is great disappointment from the LORD. However, Ezekiel sees a different view from God, stating that the vineyard is absolutely useless through its inability to yield grapes.
We witness God's high and perfect standard for the vineyard.
This instantly reminded me of Matthew 5:48 which says,
"Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect."
And this idea of perfect love He sets for us, loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us is what He expects.
And I think this high expectation is placed on us so that we will realize that we cannot do it with our own strength.
Just as Christ also stated that with man it is impossible, but with God it is possible - we are placed in a position to be humble just like Christ.
Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor (not that everyone is CALLED to do this and is certainly not implying a poverty gospel) and as a tax collector he also had repaid those whom he cheated, to four times.

This high expectation that God has for us through the vineyard placed in the OT is extremely powerful and symbolic.
And its beautiful to see how Christ fulfills this symbol - as He stated that He is the TRUE VINE.
That no vines could bear good fruits except through Him.
That our righteousness is in His vine, not of our own.
Also, instead of destroying the WHOLE vineyard, God is patient and faithful with the Israelites.
Because I would suppose that the gardener of a vineyard would destroy it if it did not yield good grapes.
But God waits and actually sends His own son so that He would take this crappy vineyard to become something beautiful under His own son.
That this vineyard is a new creation in His son, it isn't that crappy vineyard that yield terrible grapes - rather harvesting a harvest of righteousness!


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Re: May 6th - Chapter Fifteen

Post by StephenRYUUUU on Wed May 13, 2015 9:53 pm

God compares Jerusalem with the wood of vine. Really reading what James wrote before I started this devo made me think about bearing fruit. In other words, I think that the Israelites were not bearing any good fruit or anything for a matter and were just simply the wood of the vine. God compares this with a branch from any other tree and says how can this possibly be any better? God’s chosen people, the Israelites are not any more special than anyone else. I guess they both did not produce good fruit.
This part about fire says how the vine was of already no use and when God punishes them (burns), it’s going to be even more difficult to make it something useful.
Through this difficulty, it will be made known that God is their one and only true God, not their idols.
This challenges us and our modern day Christians as a whole. Are we bearing good fruit? Are we producing good fruits as we choose into following Christ? Because in this chapter, God is basically saying how His chosen people are of no difference than those who do not follow Him. Because they both are not bearing any fruit. Are Christians today looking any different than those who do not follow God? Are we living everyday with thoughts and actions that strive to be like Christ?


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