Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:4
A mother who had broken a hip, had to spend some time in a rehabilitation center following surgery. While she was in rehab, her children thought it would be an opportunity to go through her home, looking for tripping and falling hazards and other safety problems and get them all repaired. They threw out some area rugs and some furniture they regarded as too old and unstable to be safe.
When the mother returned home she was stunned to see that things were missing. The children explained why they had done what they done. The mother wailed, “Those rugs belonged to my great great-grandmother and the furniture was made by my great great grandfather! I know you are worried about me but you threw out what matters.” The story in Isaiah tells about the people who had thrown out what had mattered.
Parents invest everything in the rearing of their children. They spend time, effort, emotion and hard earned money to provide not only sustenance for their children but an education and faith as well. They work hard at teaching values and lifes lessons. We can only imagine, then, how God’s heart is affected by ungrateful children, children who choose wrong roads for themselves.
Isaiah describes the year long process of building a vineyard. The investment is enormous. It’s an important parable. In the words of Isaiah, God “looked for judgment, but saw bloodshed” God “looked for justice, but hark, the outcry” Judgment consists of right choices based on faith. Justice means to align everything with God’s plan of love. But history repeats itself and what does God see today? What have we produced?
Although in Matthew’s story, God does not destroy the vineyard as He did in Isaiah’s story. But God does put the current tenants to death. What was their crime? The tenants did not practice justice. Worst of all, they threw out what really mattered: God’s gifts.
The vineyard is not ours, it is God’s. It is ours to enjoy, but God expects a return on his investment in us. His love for us. He expects to harvest our love in return.