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God’s Word for You

Isaiah 5:7

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, November 12, 2007

7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty
   is the house of Israel,
   and the men of Judah
   are the garden of his delight.
   And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
   for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. (NIV)

Sometimes the prophets used wordplay to make a point. Here Isaiah contrasts justice (Hebrew mispat) with bloodshed (mispah), and righteousness (sedaqâ) with distress (se’aqâ).

We are witnessing the Lord’s grief. His pain, his agony over us, was already there before he spun our blue world around the precious sun. In the forever that was before the universe, God wept. He didn’t want sin to come into his creation, but he knew it would. The freedom he would give to his world would turn on him and yes, kill him. But love moved him forward. His vineyard, the garden of his delight, was not really a place. It was a people. It was mankind.

He spoke, and the first week’s dawns and dusks blazed more beautifully that anything in the Louvre, but scarcely had he declared his work “very good” than his walk in the garden didn’t happen across his best work. The man and the woman were hiding their shame. He could have exploded in fury. He could have condemned instantly. The Word could have said anything. But he wanted his people to talk to him, to trust him, to confess to him. “Where are you?”

His spirit made its way through Jerusalem—the city of Promise, the place of Peace—looking for justice. Looking for righteousness.

He saw bloodshed. “Help!” someone cried.

The Word came crashing into his creation in person, but not riding at the head of an army. He came humbly, gently, and in love. He came to rescue us from our hiding, from our fear, from our mistakes; from our sins. He gave us himself. And he gave us peace.

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.