Tending Our Pleasant Plants
Isa 17:10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
The world in which we live is full of distractions that pull us away from our Savior. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life can easily ensnare us causing us to place our focus somewhere other than our Lord. The problem lies in the fact that when we take our eyes off Christ and place them on the things of this world, we find that all or labor and work is in vain.
There are several interesting things pointed out to us in this passage. This first one is that when we forget the God of our salvation, and are not mindful of the rock of our strength, what we begin to focus on will actually be pleasant. As this passage indicates we “plant pleasant plants,” Our focus away from our God will always seem pleasant at first. We find something that brings us joy and pleasure or at least we hope it will bring us joy and pleasure and we begin to put our time and effort in that direction. But we must realize that the slips we plant are strange. Slips in this context were plant cuttings that would be put into the ground to bring forth growth. When the passage calls them strange, it carries with it the idea that they are foreign. Foreign to what God would have us be living for.
The passage goes on to say that we shall make the plant grow, and the seed to flourish. This shows us that hard work and effort go into making these plants grow. Crops that are planted in areas where the climate and soil are not fit for that specific crop will not flourish without special care. And so we begin to place our efforts on growing this crop. And as the passage seems to say there will even be success. Our diligence on these pleasant plants will spring forth a harvest, which may even bring us some temporary satisfaction, but the passage goes on to warn us that it will not last. In the day of grief and of desperate sorrow it will be a heap, offering us nothing of real value.
Times of prosperity and ease have a way of causing us to forget the God of our salvation. We become no longer mindful of the rock of our strength as we take comfort in some of the earthy blessings God has given us. Time of adversity can also do this to us if we become too focused on finding worldly comfort for our struggles.
What are you living for? Where is your hope and strength found? Do you spend all your time taking care of the earthly issues of this life? Are you constantly focusing on relationships, business, and recreation and the pleasures they can bring?
If so we have perverted our way, and we are living for earthly comforts which will end up being a heap that will be destroyed when trouble comes. Without doing all things for the glory of God, our pleasant plants will leave us empty, and we will cry out “vanity of vanities” when it is all said and done.
Let us be like those who are willing to suffer affliction and be done with the passing pleasures of sin and serve the living God. When we do this, we exchange the imitation for the genuine, because in the rock of our strength we will never be let down in the time of trouble. For nothing that is done in Christ’s name will be in vain.