The Wall, the Well, and the Wine
Feeling like you’re all by yourself, alone, as though the Lord has left you fatherless and joyless as an orphan, when at one time you thought you were comfortably seated at the table with the family of God? Well, here’s some wonderful news for the believer privileged to be in the fellowship of a most blessed band of brothers and sisters in the world, HIS world, in his kingdom IN Christ. The FATHER has not left his children alone without his personal watch care of love for his own. We are his people chosen, his family loved, and his vineyard kept. Concerning that unique symbolic representation of God’s people (the vineyard of the Lord), let’s discover anew that which is found in God’s “new wine” country, to help us live the Christian life with his abiding fruitfulness. God has not left us bereft of his personal attendance to the branches attached to his vine, bearing his FRUIT. In fact, he has built a wall around that vineyard, dug a well to water it, and superintends the fruit of it. So, when it comes to God being involved in our daily Christian lives, it’s all about THE WALL, THE WELL, and THE WINE. The prophet Isaiah writes of a joyful song concerning God looking down on his own: “In that day sing ye unto her, a vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment” (Isaiah 27:2-3). Charles Spurgeon speaks of “a tenderness of his love for his people, expressed in a song concerning a vineyard, the people of God.” Spurgeon goes on to challenge us to sing along with the prophet evidencing God’s care for us, because of his guarded protection as a wall. With the plumbline in the hand of the Master Builder, your protection and safety are secure; his wall is built to perfection, and “the LORD will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psalm 138:8). Oh, sing of his care concerning his wall of protection as he keeps you safely: “I do keep it … I will keep it night and day” (v. 3). The Hebrew word defines the intensity of the Lord’s observational guard of fidelity; HE is faithful in watch care. Oh, then sing along with Isaiah as he also tells of God’s well that waters the thirsty: “I will water it every moment” (v. 3), and we do have our moments, don’t we? The Lord is the Well, he is the Water of Life, and “he that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Then, do sing along with the prophet the song of the Vineyard Keepers’s joy, the branch attached to the vine now has the robust color in that cluster of ripened grapes, all found in the “vineyard of red wine” (v. 2, Hebrew: “the pure vintage glowing with its distinct color” a depiction of HIS bountiful fruit of joy). With the wall fortified, and the well gushing up its life giving water, the Husbandman now presents his work to fruition: the “vineyard of red wine” of HIS JOY. God is welcoming you to the vineyard, His vineyard.
So, the believer is never alone surrounded by all the other branches attached to the VINE in God’s vineyard. What a wholesome garden of choice with God’s wall around him to protect him, with his water to sustain his thirst in life, and the wine of his Spirit’s fruit of joy to give him “HIS SHINE” to enliven him. “The same God who keeps the vineyard extends to every clinging stem (branch) of that vine” (Charles Spurgeon, John 15:5). He himself is the Builder of the wall of protection, the Source of thirst’s quench, and the Filler of the fruitfulness of LIFE’S joy. The lasting refrain is the song sung with the Husbandman of the vineyard (Isaiah 27:2,3; John 15:1). When you do sing along with HIM, your heart finds His rhythm to rejoice in HIS SONG, knowing now that your former song was so very out of tune. You discover that what he has provided is now yours in possession within HIS wall of safety, with your branch watered from his vine, and your fruit joyful from him and found only in him. Oh, do not be deceived by taking a tempting look back over his wall; there is no joy or gladness found there, never was. His fruitfulness is perfected in you with his provision abiding in you (John 15:5). He is the One giving you joyfulness to go on in your new ventures in life, strengthened in him. The context of Isaiah’s Word from God gives us the promise of that assurance: “Oh, let him take hold of my strength … He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root. Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (vs.5, 6). Oh, “face the world with fruit.” With his fruit of joy, the believer can face an ever-increasing unhappy world, “and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (John 16:22). Joy is found as you are found in the walled up, watered up, and filled up fruitful vineyard, HIS VINEYARD. The Husbandman of that beautiful, joyful garden extends his hand of invitation to you: “You are welcomed to the vineyard, MY VINEYARD.”
The Word of God has graciously provided us with symbolic representations of WHO the Lord is TO US, and FOR US. We must remember that a symbol points to something or SOMEONE greater that it is in itself. Oh, look to the WALL, HE IS the wall of your protection, and sing the song of his watch care: “I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Psalm 59:16). Oh, come as an empty vessel to the WELL of water; then ask the One who dug that well to “Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord, come and quench the thirsting of my soul” (Richard Blanchard). The Water of life is there to fill your vessel, and to take care of your thirst. The world cannot satisfy the soul that God has created for HIMSELF, and he wants you to know that, and you can only be thirst-free in him: “The LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11). Oh, joyless one, all the uneventful circumstances that seem to betray you in your relentless quest for happiness, are not the cause of your miserable “Christian life!” The happiest course for the believer is to stop living for himself. “Self-livers” have no joy; self-seekers are not happy, and never will be. “They are always filled with bitterness, fear, and negativism” (Spurgeon). Sinfully so, never joyful, being discontented with the people that God has placed in their path, predicaments forthcoming from God’s will, places in which God has said “walk therein” and persons in Biblical authority that the Lord has called. Remember this, simplify your Christian life by surrendering your life, allowing HIM transform your inner man to a joyful man. Yes, keep it simple, just be a branch attached to the vine. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Joy is never to be sought after; it’s too illusive for man in the chase, only to become a broken dream with unfulfilled aspirations. Rather, joy is given, it comes to you as you go TO HIM as HE COMES TO YOU, with his joy coming with him, given to you; as Jesus taught us: “These things have i spoken unto you, that MY joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (v. 11). So, allow HIM to position you inside the WALL, HIS WALL; start drinking of the water, HIS WATER, right from the well, HIS WELL, and get attached to HIM, the vine, HIS VINE (being unhinged from the world, the flesh, and the devil). Then you wilI be experiencing the protection of the wall, HIS WALL, be thirsty no more with the water, HIS WATER, be enjoying the wine, HIS WINE, the joy, HIS JOY from his Holy Spirit, “and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). So, there it is, right from the Word of God concerning what the Christian life is all about. So, if you have not yet found yourself in the vineyard, surrender to the Husbandman, for him to place you there, and then REMAIN there, and live out HIS JOY, by living IN the joy found attached to the Vine, growing in the most beautiful garden in the world.