Isaiah's picture of a vineyard is famous. It's another vivid, memorable, unavoidable image of Israel in all their failings ("This is what you are, compared to what you should be.") It's an image taken up by others,- Jesus for instance - so much so that he only had to say "A man planted a vineyard ..." and everybody immediately knew what he was going to talk about.
Everything was right about this vineyard. It had the perfect location, carefully prepared soil, the best vines chosen to be planted, a watchtower, a winepress, a protecting wall.
So God says to the people, "What more could I have done for you?" I gave you the best of everything. And yet, when I came to taste your fruit, it was disgusting!
Can you imagine what it looks like? Healthy plants, well cared for, abundant fruit hanging temptingly from every branch. But when you taste a grape, you gag and spit, because it is so sour.
God turns away in disgust from his people. He stops caring for them. Weeds take over, the wall is broken down. Even the rain stays away.
God's people had it all. And they gave nothing back. God came looking for justice, and saw bloodshed. He listened for righteousness, and heard a shriek of distress.
I'm taking a break now, for holiday purposes. See you in August.