Saturday, February 16, 2019

February 16 - Ezekiel 17

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 17. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Ezekiel speaks a God-given riddle to the captive Israelites and then explains what the meaning of the riddle is. God describes a large, powerful eagle that breaks off the top of a tree and plants the seeds in fertile soil, allowing the new tree to grow. A second eagle also appears and does nothing to benefit the young tree but the young tree, nevertheless, begins to turn towards the second eagle, hoping for some better care so it could become an even stronger tree.
  • Ezekiel goes on to explain the riddle. The first eagle represents Babylon and the seeds and tree represent King Zedekiah's, (the king of Jerusalem) children. The king of Babylon made a treaty with King Zedekiah and put him under oath, so that Zedekiah would not try to rebel after Jerusalem was taken captive. Zedekiah broke his oath anyway and asked for help from Egypt, also known as the second eagle depicted in the riddle.
  • God reveals that Ezekiel will not be successful with his attempts in creating an alliance with Egypt because Zedekiah broke his covenant with Babylon.
  • God ends the chapter by explaining that he will find a small, tender stem from a tree and grow it into something that will be mighty and attract birds of all kinds to nest in it.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • A lot is covered in this chapter but the main lesson that can be taken away is that God values promises and takes them seriously. Babylon was destined by God to take Jerusalem captive. This was Israel's punishment for their continued sin and total neglect of God. At first, the King of Babylon was very kind to Jerusalem and King Zedekiah. He made a covenant with him so Zedekiah would not rebel, but unfortunately, King Zedekiah immediately broke the covenant and went to Egypt for help. God did not appreciate this and Zedekiah was punished for breaking his promise. 
  • The small, tender stem that God said he would grow into a large tree at the end of the chapter was foreshadowing Jesus and the salvation that He would bring to everyone. The two prior eagles (Babylon and Egypt) were not going to be Israel's savior and restore it to greatness; God would be the Savior instead.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

How is your relationship with God? Do you have a relationship with God? Do you want a relationship with God? Israel was a severely broken nation who constantly turned away from God. God did punish them for their sin but He didn't leave it that way. He sent Jesus so that everyone on earth might be saved and could have a relationship with Him if they desired. Pray to God and spend some time with Him.