The Consequence of Consequences

“Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes…

What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?

And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
    is the house of Israel,..
his pleasant planting;
and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;
for righteousness,
    but behold, an outcry!..

Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
    and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.
But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice,
    and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
Therefore,.. their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 5:1-2,4-7,15-16,20,24

Our upright God is no pushover. He is holy and just, and acts perfectly for the good of His people. He bountifully supplies, expects good stewardship and fruitfulness, and will not stand for sloth, flippancy, pride, or unrighteousness. God rightly orders consequences to discipline His children and train in holiness. His design is to steer us to genuine repentance, freedom, and maturity, all resulting in His praise. (Hebrews 12:10-11)

We may be suffering because of a lack of consequences or discipline in our own lives. Herein, the Lord beckons us to come clean, repent, and turn wild into lush, wasted grapes into sweet wine. We may be in a hard place because of our failure to mete out consequences, or another’s unchecked and wayward behavior beyond our control. Our ever-present, merciful Lord is ready and able to teach us the way to go in these situations too, so His holy word and name will be honored. We also may be grateful recipients of good consequences, flowing from wisdom applied. Will we trust the Redeemer to work blessed consequence from our consequences and right actions? (Psalm 32:1-8; 51:1-12)

We would always have the Lord use a feather instead of a 2×4 to bring necessary correction. When His Spirit checks ours, how willing are we to respond, so harsher consequences are not needed? God loves His people too much to let us continue in error unabated and uncorrected. Would we yield to His gracious conviction, with consequent fruitfulness?

Lord, give me courage both to implement and be trained by consequences according to Your redemptive purpose. May I bear fruit that honors Your goodness and love to me.

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