Summary: Don’t neglect what God has given you. Don’t procrastinate. Lean on God and do what you need to do, today.
You are blessed when you use what God has given you.
• Whether it is a talent, a skill or a possession, whatever God has given you, use them for His purpose and you will see His blessings.
• But unfortunately, not many use what they are blessed with.
The wise man in Proverbs made this observation about the vineyard he saw.
• He says, “I was going past a vineyard, and it was a mess. There were thorns all over the place, the grounds were covered with weeds, and the walls were falling down.”
• He was in anguish; you could sense his sadness over what he saw.
• To understand the writer’s feeling, we have to understand the context. In the ancient Middle East, a piece of land capable of growing crops was one of the most valuable possessions in the world.
• It was to be their livelihood. They live on it. It was the best thing you could have.
To be able to own a vineyard is to be blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime.
• You can work on it and produce crops for the whole family. Not just for a meal, but for many years to come.
• You can expect to reap bountiful harvest and eat the fruits of your labors.
But sadly, the writer saw a field that was in ruin.
• The owner did nothing to his vineyard. He did not treasure what he has.
• What a waste! He lacks judgment, the writer says. He lacks wisdom. It was a big mistake. Don’t be like him.
(1) DON’T NEGLECT What God Has Given You
Do you treasure what you have today? Do you really treasure God’s gifts to you?
• In a similar sense, God has given each of us a vineyard – our lot in life.
• You have a life. You have many things that others do not have today. You have the chance to do some good work.
• Everybody gets a vineyard called “life” from God, and that vineyard is your one and only shot on this planet.
• It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You can either waste it, or use it to the full.
The writer says, “I applied my heart to what I observed, and learned a lesson from what I saw.” (v.32)
• Something is not right about this. The vineyard could have been a thing of beauty. I could be seeing fruits, lots of them in this field.
• It could have been a source of pride, joy, and income to the owner. It could have been a blessing to everybody around it.
• But the writer saw none of these. It was a far cry from what it could have been.
Was there some catastrophe? Was there a drought, flood, or some other disaster? No.
• Was it because the ground was bad? No. It was fertile ground, for it produced thorns and weeds in abundance.
• The writer concluded - it was sheer negligence on the part of the owner of the vineyard.
• He was sleeping. He was in slumber. He was folding his hands to rest. (v.33)
The owner did not treasure his vineyard. He had no idea what he had. He was throwing away the opportunity of a lifetime.
• The field did not produce what it was capable of producing, because this man neglected it.
• What caused the ruin? Not the infertile soil, not the lack of rain or sunshine, not because of any natural disasters. It was his choice.
• He chose to ignore it. His neglect led to the ruin. He did not bother. He did not treasure what was precious.
The vineyard did not turn into a ruin overnight. It was over a long time.
• Even the stone wall surrounding it was in ruins (v.31). It has been a long time.
• He has the chance to think about his attitude and change his ways, but he did not.
• The waste land was the result of a prolonged neglect.
God has given us this vineyard of life. It is a good life, it is an abundant life, Jesus says.
• But to see fruits, you need to take good care of this life. You need to work at it.
• Everything when left on its own—when not given attention and energy—has a tendency to deteriorate. It’s like any electrical appliances left unused for years.
• To have an abundant life, you need to have Jesus. Without Him, all you have is a barren life. To grow, we need to seek God and know His ways. We need to obey God and do what He says. We need to worship God and rely upon His strength.
A harvest does not just spring up by accident. Someone is behind them. It will come, but you have to work at it.