Topic: Hope In God [Monday November 13, 2017]
Text: Ezekiel 17:11-24
Key Verse: “In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell” (Ezekiel 17:23).
Bible scholars have identified two remarkable things in the ministry of Prophet Ezekiel. God allowed him to inject heavy symbolism into his messages to the children of Judah in order to drive home precious lessons. Besides, his message would begin with conditions that suggested despair but end with lively hope. We see all these dramatised in the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. Skeletons that opened the chapter are progressively transformed by God’s power into a great lively army.
Ezekiel uses figurative language to call confederate kings against Nebuchadnezzar eagles to reflect their royal and powerful status, since the eagle is the king of all flying creatures. But the God of all creation is not moved by the military prowess of man, their “mighty army or great company.” God says these kings have “despised the oath by breaking the covenant” and judgment must come upon them. God’s standard of complete obedience to His lordship is not discriminatory. He demands it from the high and the low. He is no respecter of persons. God can subdue men and women of substance who violate His ordinances. Having announced the plan to deal with the rebellion, God now makes a solemn vow of hope for Israel and mankind in the distant future in verse 24.
He presents what Bible scholars have described as a beautiful messianic promise. God says He will visit Israel again and take away her dryness and barrenness (verse 23). The emerging “goodly cedar tree” would be a shelter to all those who run to it. Jesus Christ fulfilled that prophecy when He came into the world 594 years after Ezekiel’s ministry. Lost mankind must run to Him to be sheltered from all evils.
Thought for the day: Hope in Christ gives birth to joy.
Bible Reading in one Year: Isaiah 51-55
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.