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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 5

Verses 1-30

  1. Intro:
    1. We have in ch.5: A Song(1-7); a Lament(8-23); & Judgment(24-30).
  2. A Sad Song of the Vacant Vineyard! (1-7)
    1. STINKY FRUIT! (1-7)
    2. (1,2a) Typical Viticulture – (His point?) Nothing was left undone to guarantee a sound crop.
      1. Now, I’ve had bad gardens that were my fault…but not here!
      2. The Gardner(God) – He cultivated(dug it up); cleared its stones; used top grade plants; he protected it(tower); he expected produce(made a winepress).
      3. The Land itself – the soil was good(very fruitful); the drainage was good(hill/terraced).
      4. God was in it for long term produce! – watchtower(not a temporary hut); winepress/or wine-vat [for storage of the crop](& cut into the rock for peranency).
    3. (2b) – Inedible Grapes!
      1. ​​​​​​​Q: Ever sit down eating a bunch of grapes...& then hit that one sour one?
      2. Wild(beushim) – or stinky grapes!
      3. Q: Ever smell Jack Fruit or Durian?
        1. Jack Fruit - Greenish/brown large oblong fruit, spiky on the outside.
        2. Durian is banned in many restaurants because of its offensive smell.
    4. (7) Q: What was the expected fruit? [Justice & Righteousness!]
    5. The Vine as a symbol in Scripture:
      1. Past Vine – Israel. (Here; Ps.80:8-19)
      2. Present Vine – Christ & His Church. (Jn.15)
      3. Future Vine – “The vine of the earth”. (the corrupt world system of the last days that is destined for judgment)
        1. Rev.14:14-16 Packaged Grapes(Harvested) vs. Rev.14:17-20 Pressed Grapes(winepress).
    6. He has planted US in His vineyard for fruit! (Jn.15:1-8)
      1. 1st to be a branch in the Vine we have to be united to Christ & share His life!
        1. As we abide in Him His life flows through us & produces fruit.
        2. The Carnal Christian can produce works, but only the Spiritual Christian can bear lasting fruit!
      2. Q: Are we abiding in the vine? What does that mean anyway?
        1. To have a living relationship w/the vine. To be in communion w/Him.
        2. It does not mean to keep yourself saved!
        3. I means to live in His Word & Pray(7); To Obey his commandments(10); to keep our lives clean through His Word(3,4);
      3. Q: Are we bearing fruit, more fruit, much fruit?
      4. It is difficult to determine our spiritual growth in this area. Why?
      5. [1] It is easier to measure externals than fruit – Do we drink, cuss, gamble? (Isn’t this the trap the Pharisees ran into?) (R.C.Sproul; Essentials; pg.245)
        1. It’s a lot easier to stop cussing then to acquire the habit of godly patience!
      6. [2] We are often preoccupied w/gifts – We often like gifts more than fruit because they can be more readily seen/heard.
        1. You may possess gifts yet still be immature in spiritual progress.
      7. [3] It sometimes seems unbelievers exhibit them better than Christians? – Yet, non-believers can only exhibit these via their human ability.
        1. Whereas the Christian, who is filled in the Spirit, has his/her life controlled by the Spirit.
      8. Remember, these are not superficial character adjustments that happen overnight! (This is a life long process of sanctification)
        1. It is the reshaping of the innermost dispositions of the heart! (ibid; pg.246)
      9. Q: How about a quick Fruit Inspection? {inspect yourself!}
        1. Ok, Do you sense the Saviors Love?(9) Are you keeping His commands?(10) Do you experience answered pray?(7) Do you experience joy?(11)
    7. 6 BAD GRAPES! (8-23) – 6 Woe’s!!!
      1. How frustrating to put so much work & energy into a garden & it only produce inedible fruit!
    8. 1st Bad grape - Materialists! (8-10)
      1. The sin of ingratitude, taking their blessings for granted, & using them selfishly.
      2. God’s original intention was that each family’s holding would remain in the family. (Property Greed was always condemned)
      3. At the heart of biblical faith there is always social concern!
        1. Around the world & thru the ages who made the leper colonies? Who has built the hospitals? Who has helped in developing written languages? The teaching of basic hygiene skills?
      4. Q: Are your financial decisions/investments based upon wise financial planning or greed?
    9. 2nd Bad grape - Drunkards! (11,12)
      1. Often time’s intoxication can be whittled down to simply, ‘one who enjoys “Mindless Escapism”.’
        1. Which is a stark contrast to “Grim Reality”!
    10. (13-19) God will have the last word! (esp. vs.15,16)
    11. 3rd Bad grape - Defiant! (18,19)
      1. Isaiah pictures people harnessed to animals harnessed to carts! (i.e. bondage!)
        1. They are living an animal existence!
        2. They defied the Lord by blatantly indulging in sin as though pulling their idol on a cart w/ropes!
      2. This bondage is increasing – note: progression from thin cords to fat cart rope.
      3. Iniquity(avohn) – the inward reality of sin in human nature.
      4. Sin(Hattah) – the specific ways in which sin is actually committed.
      5. Q: Do you abhor sin or adore Him? (18)
      6. Q: Do you reverence God or challenge Him? (19)
    12. 4th Bad grape – Moral Perversity! (20)
      1. Reversing moral values!
        1. “The ultimate blasphemy is to call good evil & evil good.” (Philip Hacking; Isaiah; pg.31)
      2. The moral code has been written…but now, personal taste now rules supreme!
        1. Q: What’s wrong with in a society the idea that, “as long as it feels right for you go for it”?
        2. Problem: Society will take it farther & farther. (so take it to its logical conclusion)
        3. Society = the totality of social relationships among human beings. (comes from a word meaning fellowship/ companion)
        4. We of course are watching today as our culture tries to redefine marriage. {We took it to its logical conclusion last week/why not any 2 people? Or 6 people? Or individual?}
      3. Q: Are moral values seen as objective absolutes or as subjective preferences?
    13. 5th Bad grape – Self-Sufficiency! (21)
      1. Recognizing no authority but themselves.
      2. They were “Know it alls!”
    14. 6th Bad grape – Drunken Leaders! (22,23)
      1. Wow, what a standard by which to measure worth! (22)
        1. Can he hold his liquor? - Can he mix a good one?
      2. Q: What excites admiration in human achievement?
      3. Working the system for self-advantage. (23)
      4. Q: Does the social system guarantee the punishment of guilt & the vindication of innocence?
    15. ROTTEN TO THE CORE! (24,25)
      1. “Therefore” marks their resultant judgment because of their innumerable sins.
    16. They had invited God to hurry/bring it on God!(19). Well, their downfall will be like fire racing through straw. (like burning a dry X-mas tree!)
    17. (25) Divine Rage! – He is the Irresistible Invader!
      1. Today His hands are outstretched in love inviting sinners to repent. But tomorrow, he will stretch them out in wrath.
    18. THE FLAG IS UP! (26-30)
    19. The Lord simply raises his flag, & gives a little whistle.
      1. Banner/Standard/Ensign/Flag - The practice of using banners, or standards, was widespread in ancient times in many cultures and lands. [Israel probably borrowed the custom from her neighbors]
        1. The banner was used as a rallying point for groups with a common interest, such as a call for an army to assemble, or as a signal that a battle was to begin.
        2. Numb.10:14-28 – Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, Dan were picked to carry a standard(These 4 tribes each had 2 tribes under them)[then each tribe had their unique emblem]
        3. Numb.2:2 - "Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father's house;”
      2. We can fall under more than one banner/flag! (American/Christian flag!)
        1. We can pledge our allegiance to more than one.
        2. I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
        3. I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.
        4. I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's Holy Word, I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.
      3. Q: What banners do you fall under? Q: If you designed a banner for your family what would you put on it?(Family Crest) Q: Are there any banners you shouldn’t be falling under? (i.e. embarrassing banners!)
    20. (28) You want swift…I’ll show you swift!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 5". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.