This chapter is an indictment against Israel. But it also is a warning against anyone that would oppress Israel. Hands off says the Lord! Israel is not to be punished to the benefit of other nations.
These garden analogies are very poignant in my situation. I understand both the analogy and the real to life application of this. First the imagery of a few just fruits hanging on the boughs of the tree that are beyond reach. That’s the first image. The second, after the Lord declares that they had forgotten Him, paints a more dismal picture. This one I am familiar with both in a practical and symbolic level.
Seeds are planted. Plants grow and are cultivated after our own manner. The end result however is a ruinous heap of nothing salvageable. Oh what a waste of time and energy! Why would one want to attempt to grow after such failed efforts? What guarantee of something better is there?
Back to verses 6 to 8: Isaiah speaks of the “gleaning grapes” that are left behind, and how “at that day shall a man look to his Maker”. This is desirable fruit, whatever the cost (the bereavement for the seemingly scare output), will be such as to properly acknowledge the Father for who He is. This precious fruit will not look to the creations of his own hands as proof of God’s goodness. He will not take confidence in the substance of his own prosperity. It was Job that taught us, “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” This is what true worship looks like.
Be not at ease in Israel.
There is a footnote from the words of Job that I have just referenced: The full verse reads as such:
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.Job 13:15-18
What is revealed here to me is the volition of Job, the manner in which Job was an agent unto himself to act. This is the fruit that God desires of his children to become.