When things go so terribly wrong in life people do ask – “What more could I have done?” Is that your question? Might this be something you have uttered?
These people in Isaiah’s day were getting tired of Isaiah’s preaching and fed up with his prophesying. It is almost unthinkable that they would have reacted in such a negative manner.
Imagine God choosing a man – raising up a man – placing that man in the nation – and giving him a very special message – and the people reject his message. They will not hear him, nor listen to his preaching.
What does Isaiah do? He begins to sing, so that they will pay attention and hear his message. This happens in Isaiah Chapter 5. Do take and make time to read it.
Probably Chapters 5 and 6 are among the best known Chapters in the first half of the Book of Isaiah, but as we have seen we must not stop in the middle of a Chapter but read the entire Chapter to understand what God is saying through the prophet. We remember that this is God’s holy Word.
Isaiah has seen some wonderful things – revealed to him by God – the coming of Jesus into our world – but Isaiah has also has had some very hard and challenging things to say to the people of Israel – and he speaks about them being taken away captive – with vivid descriptions. Can you imagine him in one of these busy Jerusalem streets and market places?
Isaiah begins to sing a love song. Now, everybody loves a love song. It is strangely compelling, and they gather to hear Isaiah singing this love song. They had never heard this before – ah! this is different. The words grip the crowd. It was all about a vineyard. Some of them would have kept vineyards – this was familiar.
A hillside had been cleared of stones, and these stones formed a wall. The soil is carefully prepared – and the finest vines planted. A winepress was cut out of the rock – dug so that the wine would flow and be gathered and harvested in storage containers.
The intention was well-being and prosperity. Everything was done.
At first it sounded like an ordinary love song, but four amazing things emerge.
It is a song which should have been sung by a woman, and not a man. It is about a lover who has a vineyard, and this made them sit up and listen carefully.
This is what my love did – he did everything he could – but he didn’t pick a single grape – only wild grapes! Wild grapes are small – full of stones – with thick skins. Isaiah sings out – verse 4 – “What more could I have done?” The owner lavished all on this vineyard – it had everything it required.
Isaiah is using a prophetic parable, to enable these people to make a decision about something before he presented them with the real meaning. All the people are nodding and saying – O there was nothing more that could have been done. Can you hear them saying – Everything had been done?
How many parents have said that – “What more could I/we have done?” Suddenly this song and its significance and relevance penetrates the hearts of those listening. What more could the lover have done?
When things go so terribly wrong in life people do ask – “What more could I have done?” Is that your question? Might this be something you have uttered? There is an answer that satisfies. Let me reassure you of that!