The Song of Solomon 8:11, “Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.”
As many of you know, my mama and daddy loved to grow things in their own gardens. But there were times when they wanted a specific fruit or vegetable which they didn’t have in their own garden. When that would happen, my mama had a place she would love to go first. The farm and market was known for having some of the best fruits and vegetables in the county. I remember seeing some tomatoes there one day and thinking, “I didn’t know they grew that big.” When we would go to that farm and market, we always expected to pay a little more. Why? Because the product was better and the demand was high.
Solomon’s vineyard was known for bringing forth in abundance. People would come from a distance to get the fruits. But when they arrived, they knew the cost for the product was beyond the norm.
According to scripture, the fellowship with the Lord in His vineyard (the Kingdom of God, the Church) has a cost. Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth, and sell it not;…” Isaiah 55:1, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” The price for our heavenly home was paid by Christ at Calvary’s Cross. The cost under consideration in the verses previously cited is the price of personal sacrifice that one may be able to enjoy the fellowship of the Lord in His Church. The knowledge and peace of the Lord will cost you. Are we willing to pay to enjoy the fruits of His vineyard? Are we willing to sacrifice the time that it will require for us to be dedicated to Him and His Church? In 2 Samuel 24:24, “…neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.”
This week during our family reading we looked at a few verses in Matthew chapter 10. In verses 37-38 we read, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Our children asked Sis. Jennifer and I what this meant. The answer? To love God the most. Our walk of obedience must be an effort of putting God first. There may be times when it will require us to follow Him without the presence, approval and support of our family. Paul said it like this in his letter to the Romans.Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Paul’s words have always convicted me. Why? Because if I do all that I’m supposed to do, I’ve not done anything special, I just did what was “reasonable.” The Lord made a sacrifice no other could make. He gave His perfect life on the Cross for sinners like you and I. If I gave up all and followed Him in perfect obedience (which we all fall short of), I’vedone nothing great, but what was “reasonable” when we consider what He’s done for us.
Are we willing to pay the cost? Are we willing to sacrifice? We should all be reminded, the fruits of His kingdom are better and beyond the pleasures this world has to offer. The peace and the joy found in His vineyard cause everything in this world to dim in comparison. Being close to Him, our Redeemer, is just better than anything else.