Jehovah planted a vineyard on a fruitful hill, and fenced it, gathered out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vines. He edified a tower in it and also built a winepress. He looked for it to yield good grapes, but it yielded wild grapes (Is. 5:1-3). Did Jehovah look for it to yield good grapes and it yielded wild grapes? Jehovah does not know the future. And Jehovah declares by the mouth of Jeremiah: “Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me?” (Jer. 2:21). Jehovah went in confusion here, for he declares that the vine was excellent, a wholly right seed. Then he exclaims, confused: “How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me?” Jehovah is surprised, dumbfounded, confused. He did not understand how a change so great had happened. Was it an excellent vine and became degenerate and strange? Did it happen against the will of Jehovah?
It is written that Jehovah changed the heart of the Egyptians that they might hate his people Israel. The goal of Jehovah was to perform fabulous prodigies to deliver his people by the hand of Moses. As the two peoples were friends, through the actions of Joseph as governor, it was necessary to change the heart of the Egyptians (Ps. 105:23-27). Did he have enough power to change the heart of the Egyptians and did not have power to preserve his children from corruption? He had power to harden the heart of Pharaoh to not believe in the signs, and he did not have power to soften the heart of his people to believe? Jehovah said to Moses: “When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and he will not let the people go” (Ex. 4:21). The clear impression we have is that Jehovah has all the power to do evil, but he does not have all the power to do good. This is confusing. Jehovah hoped that his vine produced good grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. Jehovah declares firmly: “Now that I, even I, am he, There is no god with me. I kill, and I make alive. I wound, and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of my hand” (Deut. 32:39). But his beloved vine escaped, and he declares himself: “Now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away its hedge, and it will be eaten up. I will break down its wall of it, and it will be trampled down. I will lay it a wasteland. It won’t be pruned nor hoed, but it will grow briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it. For the vineyard of Jehovah of Armies is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for justice, but, behold, oppression; for righteousness, but, behold, a cry of distress” (Is. 5:5-7). It is very clear. Jehovah did not have power to make his people practice justice and judgment, but he had power to destroy them. As to the Egyptians, they loved Israel, and were good to them, but Jehovah had power to make them hate and enslave his people. CONFUSION! The worse thing is that the same Isaiah speaks from Jehovah saying that there will be deliverance for Israel: “In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city. God appoints salvation for walls and bulwarks’” (Is. 26:1). “In that day, Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan, the fleeing serpent, and leviathan the twisted serpent; and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea. In that day, sing to her, ‘A pleasant vineyard! I, Jehovah, am its keeper. I will water it every moment. Lest anyone damage it, I will keep it night and day’” (Is. 27:1-3). Does Jehovah promise to keep the vine of that day? If he did not keep the first one, who is going to believe that he will keep the second one? If Jehovah does not change, as he himself affirms in Mal. 3:6, he should say: I hope that this second vine yields good grapes. If the first one was faithful, it should be guarded. “Confusion”! On the other hand, the vine of Jehovah is the kingdom of Israel. And the kingdom of Israel, in the year 720 before Christ, was taken captive to Assyria, and disappeared there. The text says: “Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he tore Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat […]” (2 Kings 17:20-23). One hundred and thirty years later Jehovah drove the kingdom of Judah to Babylon, saying: “Jehovah said, ‘I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, “My name shall be there.”’” (2 Kings 23:27). In the 24th chapter we read: “In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. Jehovah sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spoke by his servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of Jehovah came this on Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did” (2 Kings 24:1-3).
Jehovah put an end to both kingdoms. The do not exist anymore. The Romans destroyed the line of David, which Jehovah promised that it would continue forever, when Titus destroyed Jerusalem. And what about the vine? What vine! Twenty-six hundred years have passed, and Israel is not a kingdom in our days any longer. All the history of the kings of Israel until Jesus Christ has taken 1,600 years. And it has been 2,600 years since the kingdom of Judah has ended. Matthew the evangelist says: “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matt. 11:13). And Luke says: “The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached” (Luke 16:16). The project of Jehovah ended in Jesus. WHAT CONFUSION!
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira