Thursday 23 February 2017

Bible Book:

“On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind.” (v. 23)

Ezekiel 17:22-24 Thursday 23 February 2017

Psalm: Psalm 113


These verses bring to a conclusion a picture started in Ezekiel 17:3 where a great eagle takes a twigand plants it in a city. The image seems to break off in verse11 and takes a different path before returning in verse22. The first great eagle refers to a human agent (maybeNebuchadnezzar) but here God identifies God's own self as the onewho takes the twig and plants it.

In the first instance the twig is planted in a merchant city (Ezekiel 17:4) but now we are told it is plantedin Israel (verse 23). This twig sprouts and becomes a great tree,like the noble cedar, producing fruit and become a home for all thebirds. This is an image we see shared by Jesus in his parable ofthe mustard seed (Mark 4:32). The emphasis seems to be the samein both these images with all the birds (people or nations) comingto nest in the tree. This is an encouraging word to those in exile,God  will take a shoot and plant it in Israel where it willgrow into a great tree. So the people will return to the land theywere taken from and they will become great again.

The final verse ties this all together with a number of shortsayings that each speak of God's sovereignty in what is happening.With the tall tree being made low the people would have thought ofKing Zedekiah (Ezekiel 17:16-21 and Jeremiah 32) whom God brought low with theexile, and the low tree made high would be the king that God wouldrestore in Jerusalem. The final words are that of assurance, God iscapable of all things and will be faithful to God's word now justas much as in the past.

To Ponder

  • How easy do we find it trust God's promises to us, particularlywhen we are in difficult situations?
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