ISAIAH 5:7 – For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!
THEME OF THE DAY. MOTIVATIONS NOT TO SIN. The Bible portrays God’s people in many ways. Here are ten. We are His family, the sheep of His pasture, His redeemed, His temple, His adopted children, His purchased possession, His royal priesthood, His holy priesthood, His chosen people, and His holy nation. There is another appearing throughout the Old Testament and particularly in the book of Isaiah. It is the imagery of a vineyard. God calls His people His vineyard. This is a rich picture. As we ponder it, we see the care of God for His vineyard; the vibrancy of life from a vineyard, and fruitfulness expected from a vineyard. But in today’s scripture, there is something else special about God’s view of His people. He calls them “his pleasant planting.” Two things about this identifier.
First, God delights in His people – “His pleasant planting.” If ever we needed a motivation to keep us fighting all sin, saying no to all temptation, and doing all-out war against our flesh, here it is. God calls His people, “My pleasant planting.” We may see the beam of delight from our God in His love for us. Let this settle into our thinking. God really really does take pleasure in us. Yes, we fail Him, and He still takes pleasure in us. Yes, we sin against Him, and He still takes pleasure in us. Yes, we go through seasons of cooled love for Him, and He still takes pleasure in us. Don’t let our love for God be the chief motivator not to sin. Sadly, our love for Him ebbs and flows too much. It won’t sustain a life of holiness, but if we learn to see His delight, even pleasure in us, that is where sustained Christian living lies. Be amazed and ponder often God sees us as “His pleasant planting” and watch how sin loses its appeal in our lives.
Another strong motivator not to sin is we are owned by God – “His pleasant planting.” Who saved us and “planted” us in the Lord Jesus? God. Who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world? God. Who paid the price of our redemption? God. Who dwells within us by His Spirit? God. Who is working all things out in our lives for His good pleasure? God. Who is preparing a place for us after this life? God. Who is coming back to take us to that place? God. Who wants to spend eternity with us? God. Now, how could we ever think of willfully sinning against such a God as our God?
There are many motivators to pursue holiness and shun sin. Of all of them, none are more energizing and sustaining than to see God’s view of us; His “pleasant planting” – a people who are His delight. And the more we see ourselves as the Lord does, the more our love for Him deepens. This deepening love will create within us two things; the longing to sin less and a resolve to daily fight the sin from which we have been delivered. And as we experience the transforming power of God’s love, we will walk with daily appreciation and gratitude for such a God who delights in calling us “His pleasant planting.”
PRAYER: “Father, may Your love for me be the strongest motivator to keep me from sinning against You.”
QUOTE: “‘God so loved’ is enough to keep His children from allowing sin to get the upper hand in their lives.”