Summary: We no longer have to be grapes under the gavel but can be the sweet fruit of God.
Grapes under the Gavel
Have you ever heard of the comedian Gallager? He smashes watermelons and other foods with a large wooden mallet. The bigger the object getting smashed often bigger the mallet/hammer. He gets the audience all wet. Many come, especially those in the front with rain jackets or garbage bags over their clothes to keep a little bit dry. Can you imagine the mess and stains from smashing something like grapes? Todayâ€™s scripture is a picture of smashed grapes. The grapes in this picture are not being smashed under a mallet, but rather the gavel of Godâ€™s judgement.
God Cares for His Vineyard
1 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. 2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it;
Often vineyards were found on a hill. For protection there would be a wall or hedge surrounding it in order to keep animals like wild boars, jackals and foxes. As well for protection there would be a one or more towers of stone in which the vine-dressers lived. This way the resident could see any danger that would be looming about. A large vat, would be was dug carved out of the rocky soil. Also there would need for a large press in which to smash the grapes.
God has done everything possible to provide for us! How has he cared for you? Maybe he has provided a wall or a hedge. Maybe a tower for refuge, or a place for you to reside. It could be that he has prepared the ground in which you could take root. Or even carved out the rock so that you may work and minister.
Illustration: The Best Manager for the Best Hotel.
One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night. "Could you possibly give us a room here?" the husband asked. The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. "All of our rooms are taken," the clerk said. "But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night." When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. "Don’t worry about me, I’ll make out just fine," the clerk told them. So the couple agreed. As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, "You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you." The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn’t easy.