Judge for Yourself (and Isaiah 5:3-4)

Though Isaiah’s poem is not over, the love song of Isaiah 5 has come crashing to a halt. Instead of finding ourselves in a recording studio we find ourselves in a courtroom as God speaks up:

And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
(Isaiah 5:3,4 NRSV)

God could have done nothing more for His people, all Isaiah’s original hearers could do would be to agree with a verdict in favour of God.

Many people make judgements about God; “God is dead. God does not exist. God has failed me. God does not matter!” But what if we stood before the judgement seat of Christ and God were to ask us to make a discerned judgement with a question much like that posed to Jerusalem and Judah in Isaiah’s prophecy: “What more could I have done for you that I have not already done?” And what might we say as begin to contemplate what God has done? Here are a few ideas:

You have created the earth and placed and nurtured it in such a way to sustain life – You have given us the sun and the moon – You have given us sight and sound and touch and smell – You have given us incredible vistas – You have given us beauty to behold – You have implanted creativity in us – You have given us curiosity and discovery – You have placed in our world so much to discover – You have given us intelligence – You have given us communication – You have given us free will – You have given us gravity to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground – You have given us encouragement to lift our spirits – You have given us air to breathe and water to swim in and move upon – You have given us incredible variety – You have given us incredible consistency – You have given us relationships – You have given us family and procreation and intimacy – You have given us a conscience – You have given us revelation of Yourself, Your will, Your love – You have given us guidance – You have given us Your Word – You have given us grace, Your blood and body on the cross – You have given us the possibility and opportunity to receive eternal life and communion with You – You have given us the opportunity to receive Your Holy Spirit – You have given us the right to be called children of God – You have opened the door to Your Church, to brothers and sisters in Christ – You have given us the possibility of becoming more like You . . .

. . .of course I am only scratching the surface. For us to go deeper in our knowledge of all God has done we would need advanced degrees in all the sciences and all the arts. Some are going to say that there are naturalistic explanations for all that we would discover in such an education, but if we affirm that God’s fingerprint will not be found in it, does that speak about God’s willingness to reveal Himself, or our desire to find Him?

What more could God have done for us that He has not already done? Ready to judge for yourself?

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