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God’s Word for You

Isaiah 27:2-5

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

2 In that day—
     “Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
3 I, the LORD, watch over it;
     I water it continually.
I guard it day and night
     so that no one may harm it.
4 I am not angry.
     If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
I would march against them in battle;
     I would set them all on fire.
5 Or else let them come to me for refuge;
     let them make peace with me,
     yes, let them make peace with me.” (NIV)

Twenty-seven, four. Or, to put it another way, 27:4. I don’t mean our way of talking about 24/7, meaning every day, all day, but rather this passage: 27:4. That’s the verse before us where God says, “I am not angry.” That’s a summary of the gospel that takes us right up to within inches of the cross, nose-to-splinters, to see the very drops of blood running slowly down the rough-hewn wood along with the sweat and tears of our dying Savior. And because of his Son’s sacrifice, the Father proclaims to us and to the world: “I am not angry.”

God watches over his vineyard, and he takes care of it. Even the biggest adversary imaginable is no match for God’s defense.

And now God talks about thorns. After saying that he would confront the Leviathan in the first verse of this chapter, God now says he would like to confront piddling things like briers and thorns—he would burn them up, too, unless they repent (“come to me for refuge”). That’s because God does not just condemn the biggest sins, but the little ones, too. All sin is sin before God, and all sin needs to be repented of. We confess it, and we can be assured that he forgives us. And now, out of love, we say to God what the Reubenites said to Joshua: “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go” (Joshua 1:16).

And God has the best news in the world for us:

“I am not angry.”

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.