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July 29 Today’s Reading: Isaiah 64-66
“Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it.”
A gardener was about to cut down a dried up vine, when the owner of the vineyard passed by and noticed a cluster of new grapes on it. He cried out to the vinedresser, “Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it!” The vine looked worthless. It appeared to be needlessly occupying space. Ugly and dried up, the gardener would have cut it down, thinking that was the only thing to be done with it. Nothing in the field is uglier than a dried up vine. But the owner saw a blessing in that which appeared to be worthless. Then the Lord says, “So will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.” The blessing of God is often found in that which appears to be good for nothing.
God’s elect in this world are the blessing hidden among the nations of the world, for which he preserves them. The only reason why God does not destroy this world right now is the fact that there is yet a remnant according to the election of grace who must be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Everything God does in this world is for the elect’s sake. Every benefit of providential mercy that reprobate men enjoy in time is because there lives among them God’s elect, of whom he says, “Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it.” This is not my opinion. This is what God says. “So will I do for my servants’ sakes.” Once Noah (the blessing) was safely in the ark, God destroyed the rest of the world. Once Lot (the blessing) was delivered unto Zoar, God destroyed Sodom. Joshua and Caleb (the blessings) entered into the land of promise, though all those who came out of Egypt with them perished under the wrath of God. The rest of the world exists and is used by God for his elect, the blessing that is in it (Isaiah 43:1-5). God’s elect are always a remnant, few among many (Matthew 22:14).
This is also a declaration that wherever the blessing of God’s grace is found in a sinner’s heart it shall not be destroyed. Like new wine in the grape, grace is a new thing in the heart of man. Like new wine, grace is delightful both to God who gives it, and to man who profits by it. Like new wine in the cluster must be pressed out, so all grace must be tried. But the grace of God, once bestowed and wrought in a sinner’s heart, cannot be destroyed (Ecclesiastes 3:14; Romans 11:29).
Destroy it Not
Frequently the object of god’s grace, the blessing of God in the earth, is found in that which we consider worthless. God often gathers jewels for his crown among those who are counted the off-scouring of the earth (1 Corinthians 1:26-30). These chosen ones scattered throughout the earth are a people concerning whom and for whom the Lord God says, “Destroy it not.” God the Father says, “Destroy it not,” for he has loved them, chosen them, and found a ransom for them. God the Son says, “Destroy it not,” for he has redeemed them by his blood. God the Holy Spirit says, “Destroy it not,” for he has pledged to regenerate them and make them the willing servants of the Most High. Chosen, redeemed sinners are preserved and kept by the grace of God until the appointed time of their calling by God the Holy Spirit; and God preserves the world to preserve them. Oh how magnificent your grace is, our great God!