During the 1960’s, when I was living in San Francisco, the “Flower Children – Hippies” had a significant impact on the government through their protests of the Viet Nam war. They often used ballads to convey their message.

  In like manner, God used a ballad to express His great displeasure with His people, Israel for some serious sins they were committing. He had been very gracious in bringing them out of bondage in Egypt. He supplied all their needs during their wilderness journey to the “Promised Land.” He gave them a land that “flowed with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:18). He wanted them to be a unique people in the midst of their pagan neighbors and bear witness to the greatness of Jehovah God and to inform them that there was no other God besides the true and living God (Isaiah 44:8).

  God likened His people to a vineyard and planted them on fertile ground. He expected to receive luscious grapes but instead He got wild, bitter grapes. This brought great displeasure to God. Consequently judgment day would come and they would be deported to foreign lands (Read Isaiah 5). Jesus referred to this incident in Israel’s history in Matthew 21:33-44.

  What were the “wild grapes” that the nation Israel produced instead of the “good grapes” that God was expecting to receive from His people?

  Covetousness. The rich were defrauding the poor and seizing their land so they could live their lives in luxury. God told them that their houses would become empty and their harvests meager.    

  Drunkenness. Although the Old Testament rules for the Jews didn’t require total abstinence, God did warn them and us against drunkenness (Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-31; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Ephesians 5:18). He told them that when judgment day came, these people would become “food” for the worms in the grave.

  Carelessness. Often those who are enslaved by sin mock God and taunt or dare Him to punish them. Make no mistake about it, God says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19). Payday is coming when all unbelievers will be raised from the dead to stand before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne (John 5:22). They will be judged according to their works done here on earth and their degree of torment in an eternal hell will be determined at this time (Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). There is no annihilation or reincarnation found in Scripture.

  Deception. Moral standards were destroyed by redefining sin (lawlessness). “Doublespeak” made it easy to deceive the average person and avoid a guilty conscience. In today’s world, increased taxes are called “revenue enhancements,” and the poor are called “fiscal underachievers.” Lying, using flattery, and talking from a double heart. This is what is happening in our day too.

  Pride. Instead of listening to the voice of God that is found in His Word, these Jews were consulting with the ungodly (Psalm 1:1). They made decisions based on their own finite wisdom (Proverbs 3:7). Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the image made like corruptible man (Romans 1:22, 23). God declares that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

  Injustice. Through bribery corrupt judges were calling evil good, and good evil. Light was replaced with darkness and bitter for the sweet. Surely God’s anger would come on them as it will on those of our day who practice the same things.

  Holocaust. Because of these sins the Jews were taken into captivity by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Lawlessness comes with dire consequences both for them and for us as individuals or as a nation when we turn our noses up against God and defy Him.

  Warning. All these things were written and preserved for us in the Scriptures so that we, who are Christians, would learn not to make the same mistakes that the Jews, God’s chosen people, made and suffer as they did and still do to this day (1 Corinthians 10). As Christians we could fall into the same temptations and bring havoc on ourselves through the disciplinary hand of God (Hebrews 12:5, 6). So, “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. [Remember] No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13).

Bad News – Good News. The bad news is that we’re all sinners who deserve death and eternal separation from God in hell. The good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless God-man, died for all our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day so He could save anyone and all who would trust in Him alone for their deliverance from hell to heaven.

  Assurance.  Are you sure of your eternal destiny? You can know for sure today (1 John 5:13). If you have questions or need additional spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.

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