February 17, 2011

Minor Prophets XIV: Sour Grapes

As we have often seen in the Bible God repeats Himself. Not because He has been unclear in the past but because His people or people in general are usually spiritually deaf. We see this all over Hosea and the Minor Prophets. The whole point of a prophet is that of a herald or person the comes for God to pronounce judgement of blessing, one that warns or condemns. Becasue of this is is easy to find other Old Testament references (outside of Hosea) to Israel being described as a "vine" as in Hosea.

"Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones." Hosea 10:1

The "vine" at first appears to be a positive reference but as we delve into Chapter 10 we see just the opposite and of course this metaphor/symbology surfaces elsewhere due to Israel's constant cycle of apostasy-punishment-repentence-apostasy-punishment-repentence.

The vine is a national symbol of Israel. As we later see in the New Testament it also is symbology/metaphor of Jesus (Myers 54).

Psalms 80:8, 14-16 “You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.” In later verses in this chapter we see that Israel is either being punished or under judgment (v14-16) “Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!

Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire…”

Isaiah 5:1-7 Another reference to a vineyard/vine and the fact that the vines only yielded bad fruit. Because of this…judgment was coming, “I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed.” If there is any doubt who this refers to verse 7 clears it up, “The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in.”

Jeremiah 2:21 “I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?” This is self explanatory, no commentary necessary.

Since these passages are rather lengthy I will not quote from them but I will list them here: Ezek 15:1-8, 17:5-10, 19:10-14

After all the disobedience in the Old Testament its almost as if you the reader would like to reach back into the Old Testament yourself and smack them silly to wake them up. But then you realize, "Oh geez, it wasn't just those knuckleheads...its us knuckleheads too!"

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