“Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:4).
In the 5th chapter of the book of Isaiah, the prophet sings about a "Vineyard on a very fruitful hill." God dug it up, cleared the stones, planted the choicest vine plants, built a tower in the midst, made a vine press and expected the plant to give good grapes. But what it gave was wild grapes.
God chose the children of Israel for Himself. That is why he brought the Israelites who are the vine plant and planted it in His own garden. Maybe, He might have planted twelve branches matching the number of tribes in Israel which is twelve. The Scripture says, “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant” (Isaiah 5:7).
But, why did they give wild grape to God? A mango tree had been yielding sweet fruits and suddenly its fruits began to give the bitter taste. The reason was that some neem trees had grown around this mango tree and the roots of the neem trees wrapped around the roots of the mango tree thus transferring the bitter taste into the mango tree. Whatever the tree may be, if it stands by the side of Marah's bitter taste, what we can expect from it is only fruits with a bitter taste.
In villages, people used to take care of the honeycombs. In certain months the honey in the combs will taste bitter. During the seasons when the neem tree is full of flowers, the bees will bring the nectar of the neem trees also to their combs and when it gets mixed with the honey already in the combs, the taste of the entire honey becomes bitter. In the same way, the Israelites gave the wild grapes.
But the loving Son of the heavenly Father who is righteous and free of sins knew why the man is giving bitter fruits and so descended on earth to become a vine plant Himself. He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). What you have to do is to get attached to the true vine and to abide in Him as branches. When you abide in Him, you will definitely give sweet fruits along with Him.
Dear children of God, you are not the vine plants attached to the Israelites but ones attached to God. From Him, the divine juice, taste and the greatness of holiness cross into you. Will you abide in God and yield good fruits?
To meditate: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).