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Vol.  10  No. 7 July 2008  Page 11
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Wisdom's Corner (Youth Page) By Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorter

The Desolate Vineyard Booth

    In Bible times, the vineyard was very important. One of the main foods was grapes. All kinds of grapes were grown. There were many dangers to the vineyard. The east and southwest winds could dry out the grapes or bring too much moisture. Locusts, wild animals and robbers were always potential enemies of the vineyard. Watchmen were appointed to keep constant oversight of the vineyards.

    The watchman was there day and night. He was to frighten away animals and challenge or report on any intruders. He would roam about at night to make sure that no enemies were able to sneak into the vineyard. In the daytime, he sat in a booth that he built in a conspicuous place in the vineyard. This booth was made of four stout poles fixed into the ground. Halfway up, boarding was affixed and then covered with leaves, usually oak. The watchman could sit here and see all around the vineyard while being protected from the sun. When the season was over and the grapes had been harvested, the booth was no longer used. It would be ripped apart by the winds and heavy rains. With no watchman to repair it, it was a perfect picture of desolation.

    In Isaiah 1:8, we read, “And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage [booth] in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.” God depicted the nation of Israel as the booth in the vineyard. Israel was the very picture of a desolate and torn apart booth. God was their watchman, but they had rejected and disobeyed their watchman. Therefore, he had allowed them to be torn asunder by other nations and plagues.

    Today, we are told to study God’s Word and learn how to obey Him. He wants to care for us. He loves us. Yet, if we do not love Him and obey Him, He will allow us to become like the vineyard booth at the end of the season. The end of our season is the end of life. Then comes the Judgment. If we are found obedient, we go to heaven where God will care for us for eternity. If we are found disobedient, we will undergo punishment for eternity in hell. Make sure you are not the vineyard booth in the off-season.

Dig Deep

    In Luke 6:47-49, Jesus says that a man should listen to his words. He is not talking about just letting the words fall on one’s ears. Just because a person is within hearing distance, and just because he is looking at the person talking, does not mean he is actually attempting to think about what is being spoken.

    The same holds true for reading. Just because one allows his eyes to scan across words on a page, does not mean that one is actually reading and thinking about those words.

    When Jesus said we are to “hear” his sayings, He means that, whether we are listening to someone teach or preach, or whether we are reading our Bible, we should think and contemplate on the words. Effort must be put forth in studying God’s Word. Knowledge and wisdom of his Word does not magically come to us.

    In the referenced text, Jesus compares hearing with digging. In verse forty-eight, He says that the man who listens and does His Word is like the man who digs deep and lays the foundation of a house. Listening properly is digging deep. A house must have a proper foundation. That foundation must be solid. The foundation of a house in many Bible lands was set on rock. Thus, a person many times had to dig deep through sand and soil to find the rock.

    We find the spiritual Rock, Jesus, by digging deep in the Scriptures. We must read and study. We must contemplate and meditate on His Word. As we build our spiritual house bigger, we must continue to find more rock. We should always be building a bigger spiritual house. Thus, we should always be studying and learning more from God’s Word.

    Study your Bible. Dig deep and continue throughout life to dig in God’s Word. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

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