Editorial - Israel is God's Vineyard

by Joy Hunting

God has a very personal and ongoing relationship with Israel the nation, that is, the people, and Israel the land. This relationship is spoken of in the Scriptures as between God and His vineyard, and we find it applies at the present time as well as being valid in the past and on into the future.

The past is the past and nothing can change it, but how we read the past and on it build our faith for the future, and our understanding of events in the present, will govern our attitude to God and His word. It can comfort our hearts when world events disturb us, and when events in our immediate vicinity fill us with apprehension and frustration. It can increase our faith in the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because we've been there before, so to speak, and He has been there with us.

In the past, as we read in Psalm 80, on the occasion of the Nation's original entrance into Canaan, the Psalmist recounted:-

"You have brought a vine out of Egypt;

You have cast out the nations and planted it.

You prepared room for it,

And caused it to take deep root,

And it filled the land.

The hills were covered with its shadow,

And the mighty cedars with its boughs.

She sent out her boughs to the Sea,

And her branches to the River."

"This was the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our sight" -- God's vineyard established in God's land.

The present is always with us, and this is an ongoing relationship between God and Israel:-

"For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts

Is the house of Israel."

As to the future, the Psalmist has this to say:-

"Return, we beseech you, O God of hosts;

Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine,

And the vineyard which your right hand has planted,

And the branch that you have made strong for yourself.

Then we will not turn back from you;

Revive us, and we will call upon your name.

Restore us, O LORD of hosts;

Cause your face to shine,

And we shall be saved!"