I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
I. SURVEY THIS WASTE VINEYARD.
1. We can see nothing but weeds. The outgrowths of the depraved heart yield no real revenue to man. Covetousness, malice, vain thoughts, evil desires, unbelief.
2. How luxuriantly they grow! Our evil propensities must, if unchecked by grace, increase.
3. There are various kinds of growth. Thorns and nettles. There may be a man of one book, business, virtue — but not of one evil propensity.
4. They are all harmful. "Thorns" to lacerate; "nettles" to sting.
5. The wall is broken. Anybody might sow there, or water the unprofitable crop — except the good sower, and he must enter by the door. God saves us from our sluggishness, not in it.
II. WHY IT REMAINS IN THIS DEPLORABLE CONDITION. Ignorance that will not learn, and slothfulness that will not work.
III. EXPOSTULATE WITH THE SLUGGARD.
1. The vineyard is not your own.
2. Think what this vineyard might produce. Grapes for the cup of the King — fruit for days of sickness — refreshment for old age.
3. In its present state it is harmful to your neighbours. The thistle-down will float far and wide.
IV. IN CONCLUSION, SOME WORDS OF EARNEST COUNSEL.
1. Come forth from your couch of indifference and resolutely inspect this desolate scene.
2. Do not seek to satisfy conscience by pulling a weed here and there. It must be thoroughly delved; ploughed up. "Ye must be born again."
3. Do not be content with showing a few wild grapes.
(R. A. Griffin.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;