The Way of the Husbandman: God's Provision
Isaiah 5:2b—He . . . planted it with the choicest vine.
The express purpose of this article is simply to recall that the Husbandman always provides us and equips us with everything we need to become everything He wants. God takes a focused interest in what we are becoming by what we are doing, which is to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). God does not get glory from busy, bitter ministers who minister in the arm of the flesh and nurture an inner feeling of being ill-equipped or short-changed on the needed supply. His way is to make all grace abound toward us that we might have all sufficiency in all things and abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). Please note that the need for greater grace is a call to greater humility (James 4:6). That is where Israel got in trouble and that is where we get in trouble.
Israel did not lack in their supply. God planted Israel with the choicest vine. “Choicest vine” in the Hebrew language is all one word which says, “He planted it with the choicest or with the best!” The call of Abraham, the unconditional covenant, the leadership of the Patriarchs, the 400-year growth in Egypt, the call of Moses, the Exodus, the Red Sea miracle, a perfect law, personal encampment supply in the wilderness, Joshua and the conquering of Canaan, patience during the judges and the reign of King Saul, the call of David (line of Christ), the Davidic Covenant, the Ark coming to Jerusalem, and a temple built by Solomon are all illustrations of God’s abundant supply. One would think that Israel would know by historical observation that no one ever loved them like Jehovah.
As we move from shadow to substance, Jesus enters the scene and boldly announces to His Jewish students “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman.” (John 15:1) That should make us look back in our Old Testament story to find the shadow-types of Jesus as in the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7), or the manna (John 6:51-58), or water from the rock (I Corinthians 10:4). We see Him in His pre-incarnate appearances like with Abraham (Genesis 18) and Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15).
Jesus lit a fire in the hearts of some very discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus. For them, their “hope” had stopped breathing on the cross and now His body was missing. How did He encourage them? He began at Moses and all the prophets and expounded to them all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27). He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the scriptures that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms concerning Him (Luke 24:44-45). In all of this, we see that both Israel and the Church have been planted with the choicest Vine by our well-beloved Husbandman. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22). His supply is our sufficiency, and it is abundant!
God fully supplies his covenant people.
God’s supply has no flaws or weaknesses.
Humility and faith are rewarded with grace to see the supply.
The choicest vine is God’s covenant relationship.
The choicest vine pre-shadows Jesus.
All of God’s in Christ is ours.
Call them to remember and believe.
Make no fleshly substitutions.
- Be secure and wait expectantly.
A Touch of Tozer
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. We benefit eternally by God’s being just what He is. Because He is what He is, He lifts our heads out of the prison-house, changes our prison garments for royal robes, and makes us to eat bread continually before Him all the days of our lives.
Grace takes its rise far back in the heart of God, in the awful and incomprehensible abyss of His holy being; but, the channel through which it flows out to men is Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.
Grace made sainthood possible in the Old Testament days just as it does today. Christ is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The first man in human history to be reinstated in the fellowship of God came through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Knowledge of the Holy, pg. 100-102