Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 17:1 through Ezekiel 19:14
Our Heavenly Father is the most amazing communicator. In Ezekiel 17, He explains His anger through a riddle (Ezekiel 17:1-10) with three major players:
- A first eagle, (Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon) large and powerful, took the top of a cedar tree and carried it to a faraway land.
- A second eagle (Pharoah, the King of Egypt) then appeared, and the top of the cedar tree turned vine grew toward it instead.
- The top of the cedar tree (Zedekiah, King of Israel) was planted and its vines grew toward the first eagle, until the second eagle came, then its vines grew toward the second eagle.
God had placed Zedekiah on the throne through Jeremiah (Jer. 27) and told him not to break his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar. This covenant was God’s plan for protection for Zedekiah and his people. But Zedekiah ignored that sound advice and broke the covenant by allying with Egypt (the second eagle) against Babylon.
This parable illustrates the point that the political arena is not outside the law of God. Zedekiah had sworn a treaty with Nebuchadnezzar in the name of God. Nebuchadnezzar may have been a cruel pagan king, but Zedekiah still had a moral obligation to honor his oath. God considered Zedekiah’s breaking of the treaty treason against Himself (17:20) (The New Bible Commentary)
The details of today’s reading should give us comfort, confidence and assurance in God’s oversight and ultimate control in the unrest of our world. God’s explanation of the riddle is a perfect example of how things that don’t look good to us are in perfect alignment with His will and His plan.
Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Say to these rebels of Israel: Don’t you understand the meaning of this riddle of the eagles? The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took away her king and princes, and brought them to Babylon. He made a treaty with a member of the royal family and forced him to take an oath of loyalty. He also exiled Israel’s most influential leaders, so Israel would not become strong again and revolt. Only by keeping her treaty with Babylon could Israel survive. Ezekiel 17:11-14 (emphasis mine)
During this season Israel’s weakness was their key to survival.
God has the influential leaders taken captive to Babylon so that they would not rise up against Babylon.
I wonder how many times I have worked against God’s plan and chose to quit or change course because I wasn’t as successful as I thought I should be.
I cannot imagine the Lord saying to me, “Dianne, I had this all worked out, nevertheless i.e. but, you screwed up my plan to protect you because you weren’t a woman of your word so now you will die!”
Heavenly Father, help us to seek Your will every day. Help us to realize that your ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Lord, direct our steps. Help us to work with You, not against You. Help us to be people of our word.
© 2012 Dianne GuthmullerTomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 20:1 through Ezekiel 22:16