August 24, 2021
"The Lord, God says, ‘From the top of this tall cedar, from its highest branch, I will take a shoot and plant it Myself on a high and prominent mountain."
“The Lord, God says, ‘From the top of this tall cedar, from its highest branch, I will take a shoot and plant it Myself on a high and prominent mountain. I will plant it on the highest mountain in Israel, where it will put out branches, bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it will live all kinds of birds; winged creatures of every description will live there in the shadow of its branches. Then, all the trees of the field will know that I, the Lord, bring down the tall tree and raise up the low tree, wither the green tree and make the withered tree bear fruit. I, the Lord, have spoken; and I will do 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 keep in mind: 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,” 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.
Ezekiel’s words can be taken as a warning for the apostate Messianic community (aka “the Church-at-large”). 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!