Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,
2 And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions.
3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.
4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion.
6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.
7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring.
8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.
9 And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
10 Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.
11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
Public Domain KJV text from Wordproject.org
The setting is a parched dry garden, paralleling Israel’s condition at the time of the writer. As the Father of Israel, God sobs as it were almost uncontrollably indicating the pain caused Him by children who act without regard for the consequences of a broken covenant. As God surveys the overgrown vineyard, the abundance of foliage belied production. There is little mention of fruit. While there is expansion, there is no fruit. There is nothing Jesus detests more than a robust looking tree intended for production, yet bearing no fruit. A fig tree lost its life for the same reason (Luke 13:6-9).
What is your vineyard looking like and can it pass the test of Matthew 7:15-20?
God is not willing that any should perish. He will do everything within His power to save one repentant sinner. Having received the gift of salvation without fruit-bearing is unacceptable. God is in deep sorrow for the failed expectations of His people, the hubris exhibited. What is the result? Is it God’s pure wrath to blatant sinful behavior?
Reflecting on this passage should evoke an examination of every reader’s spiritual vineyard. Is your vineyard a buoyant foliage only or is it bearing fruit?
Pastor, South Bahamas Conference