“Thus says the Lord God: ‘I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it.’” Ezekiel 17:22-24
In chapters 15-17, three allegories have been presented: a vine, a wayward woman, and two eagles. In all three, the rebellious nature of Judah has been portrayed, together with their consequent judgments by the Babylonians. What Ezekiel has presented here was less than five years away. The wrath of God was imminent. What was the cause of this? God’s people had “nullified” the covenant blessings and ran headlong into its curses.
Israel had chosen worldly and selfish lifestyles. In doing so, they had turned their backs on God and would face the consequences. It is difficult for me to read these accounts and not compare where America is heading. Founded by Christians who desired a place to worship the Lord freely, America has become little more than a secular society, which seeks hard after its idolatry and denies the Lord whose guidance allowed its founders to establish such a nation. And if a similar scenario exists, an inevitable end is sure to follow. Just ask Ezekiel.
All is not lost, though. Throughout the impending judgments, Ezekiel has spoken of a remnant, according to God’s grace, who will be brought back to Jerusalem. Further into the future, still, Ezekiel sees the coming of Messiah Himself and the Kingdom of God flourishing as the result of His coming.
And that is, perhaps, the important thing to remember: God is not concerned with building a secular city or nation. He is about the establishment of His Kingdom. It is a kingdom where, if people could be described as “birds,” it would contain every “kind” of bird. (Luke 13:18-19) The requirement of citizenship in His Kingdom has nothing to do with national or ethnic heritage or a certain quota of good deeds; it has everything to do with the kind of faith that would compel a person to turn from “idolatry” and commit to following the Messiah described by the Bible.
Suppose Ezekiel’s words can be taken as a warning for the apostate Messianic community (aka “the Church-at-large”). In that case, he also assures his listeners that the true Messianic community has a beautiful and secure future. The future is as bright as the promise of God to those who live according to His Word!
Let’s keep seeking that Word daily!
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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