“Trust in the Lord and do good; so you will dwell in the land and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act,” (Psalm 37:3-5, RSV).
We can trust God because he loves us and wants what’s best for us.
Isaiah makes it clear that God loves people but hates wickedness, especially in the people he has claimed (i.e. set free) for his own. Just as a gardener is diligent in weeding his own garden, while paying little attention to weeds in a surrounding field, God often disciplines Christians while it seems he is letting others get by with wickedness. “The Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives,” (Heb.12:6-7). Isaiah 27 speaks of Israel’s freedom after the Lord defeats Satan (vs.1-5). The Lord will then tend his Vineyard, (his chosen people).
Often, prophecies have double meanings. The surface meaning of these verses may be the end times when God finally sends Satan to the Lake of Fire. But we can apply this personally now, according to the Apostle Paul: “And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principles and powers and made a public example of them, (Col.2:13-15, RSV).
In other words, “In this way, God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away,” (Col. 2:15, LB).
The song in Isaiah 27:2-6 celebrates the intimacy between God, the deliverer and caretaker, and his people after the “vineyard” has been restored. But earlier, God had to prune and weed them. God’s purpose in pruning (judging) Israel was not to get rid of them but to cleanse them of idolatry and other wickedness. They needed to repent.
So also with us. The results of God’s pruning will be fruitfulness. Even when our suffering is not due to God’s pruning, yielding to him in trust is wise because he is trustworthy and always loving. This is explained in a beautiful way in 1 Peter 4:12-16 and 5:10. LB.
The following poem illustrates a heart that yields to God in trust.
Lord, Be the Ruler
Lord, be the ruler of my heart. I yield the throne to Thee.
I pray no selfishness nor pride, nor treasures that I see,
usurp the throne or take command to lead my flesh astray.
May you be King, and Lord of all that’s in my life today.
Lord, be the ruler of my soul. My thoughts, so often wrong,
can keep me out of touch with you. The devil’s pull is strong.
Yet, stronger still, your pull of love has led me here today
to ask you, Lord, to take control. Yes, be my King today.
By Judith Vander Wege