Today’s devotion from Isaiah 26 and 27.
God is painting a picture in these verses. The picture is that of a beautiful vineyard. It is lush and inviting. It is carefully watched and nurtured by God Himself. He waters it and guards it so no one will disturb it. However, there is another important aspect of His masterwork in the garden. He must prune it.
This is the point of the Assyrians in these verses. God will use others as instruments of His sovereign will. The Assyrians will be used to shape and mold the Israelites. However, God wants His people to know that His work of refining them is not done out of anger. He states, “I am not angry. If only there were thorns and briers for me to battle, I would trample them and burn them to the ground.” (Isaiah 27:4, CSB)
Now, in the context of our reading today, God is speaking about a specific event. However, these verses reveal God’s heart. God’s work in our lives is not done in anger. Did you catch that? God isn’t working because of wrath, but out of love. He doesn’t want to kill the garden. He wants it to grow and flourish. He wants it to be safe and fruitful. He wants it to fulfill its purpose. This was God’s desire for Israel, and it is His continued desire for us.
We, non-Jewish believers, have been brought into His garden. In Romans 11, Paul refers to us as a wild olive tree grafted in to the work He has been grooming all these years. God’s plan for you is for you to find your place in this work, and to experience His work firsthand so that you can feel nurtured and see fruitfulness in your own life.
God is not angry. When we mess up, when we stumble, when we make a mistake, God doesn’t respond from anger, but from love. His desire is to shape us so that we can experience all His goodness in our own lives.