According to Wikipedia, Ezekiel was:
“a priest living in exile in the city of Babylon in between 593 and 571 BC”
However, it is in Ezekiel 17:22-24, that we discover the awe inspiring prophecy:
22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the pretty leading of a cedar and plant it I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a higher and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it it will make branches and bear fruit and come to be a splendid cedar. Birds of each and every sort will nest in it they will discover shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree develop tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”
It is no extra awe-inspiring than Isaiah 53:two, of course, in which the advent of Jesus is foretold, about 800 years ahead of He arrived in human kind:
“He grew up ahead of him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.”
But what by no means ceases to amaze me, is the accuracy and consistency and faithfulness of God’s Word. Isaiah’s ‘tender shoot out of dry ground’ is the image made use of once again by God, 300 years later, through Ezekiel, to denote Christ, in the “tender sprig…on a higher and lofty mountain.” And in each and every 1 of the Old Testament verses that prophesy Jesus, He is referred to as a root or branch or shoot – from the Tree of Life itself, of course.
In a sermon he delivered referred to as ‘Christ the Tree of Life’, the notable CH Spurgeon (1834-92) talks of the Tree of Life that was plundered in the Garden of Eden:
“But right here we translate the metaphor we do not fully grasp that tree to be literal. We think our Lord Jesus Christ to be none other than that tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. We can scarcely conceive of any other interpretation, as this appears to us to be so complete of which means, and to afford us such unspeakable satisfaction.”
Ezekiel 17:22-four and Isaiah 53:two, as nicely as Isaiah 11:1-10, Jer 23:five and Zech three:eight have been, of course, amongst these scriptural verses prophesying Christ, that terrified Herod ‘the Great’. They are the explanation why he ordered the Slaughter of the Innocents, when it was revealed to him that a youngster had been born in Bethlehem of Judea, who would be Israel’s King. But Herod’s heart was incapable of understanding the distinction in between the sovereignty of Heaven and that of Earth, and assumed himself to be in opposition to the will of Israel’s God, who would “bring down the tall tree and make the low tree develop tall.” And, as Proverbs 23:7 states:
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Spirit-filled Christians are pretty familiar with the ‘pictures’ and metaphors and similes that inform the prophecies and words of expertise brought to them by their brothers and sisters. It is correct that we see by way of a glass darkly and perceive only dimly what is revealed to us, and our prophecies will have to be weighed. But when we convey what we think is God’s heart, in photos and pictures, we are speaking in a extended-established spiritual language. The sprig flourishing on mountainous terrain will have to have confused quite a few who heard Ezekiel’s words. (Let’s be truthful, a good deal of what Ezekiel did and mentioned would have been puzzling) but, as generally, these whose hearts have been not hardened and who had ‘ears to hear ‘would have been most attentive to this exiled prophet’s guarantee of redemption – and Israel’s release from Babylonian fealty.
Which brings me to a different nicely-explored point God’s promises will be fulfilled – there is no doubt about it – but the timing is His. In truth, King Cyrus ended the Jewish exile in 538 BC, when he commissioned the rebuilding of the Temple, a mere 3 decades or so following Ezekiel’s chapter 17 prophecy, above. But the Messiah, to whom the prophecy applied, would not come for centuries – till Israel was re-established and the persons flourishing once again- albeit in thrall to however a different conqueror – Rome. But this time, the conqueror was also an occupier, who feared renewed Jewish potency. And this time, the Roman Empire reached from the southern borders of Scotland to North Africa – a prepared conduit for the Gospel to commence its journey to the ends of the Earth.
And, when He did come, He was certainly tender. A tiny infant born in the usual way, to a teenager. And when He did come, He was definitely planted in rocky terrain. According to Wikipedia, “Bethlehem is situated on the southern portion in the Judean Mountains.” and Nazareth, exactly where Jesus grew up and started His ministry, “is situated in the north of the nation at the most southerly points of the Lebanon mountain variety, about 25 km west from the Sea of Galilee” and Galilee, on whose shores and waters Jesus performed so quite a few miracles, ” is a area in northern Israel. The term Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous portion, divided into Upper Galilee … and Reduced Galilee.”
And so we see that it definitely did come to pass that an almighty King – and tender shoot – was planted in rocky terrain but, in spite of the hostility of its atmosphere, became extra splendid than any other tree or king and remains, to this day, a refuge for “Birds of each and every sort” – all the peoples of the globe, in perpetuity, who seek its shelter . As Spurgeon, mentioned, “whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.”
The allegorical prophetic, direct from God or from Jesus’ personal mouth, marries completely with the literal truth. Generally. And the absolute reliability of God’s Word is evidenced in His prophecies, even though we could not generally reside to see them, or see them manifested as swiftly as we would like.
A lot of of us have received prophetic words to which we cling, even though time passes without the need of apparent fulfilment of these promises. And of course, there is the ultimate guarantee, delivered to us by Jesus Himself, by way of John, in Revelation three:five:
“The 1 who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will by no means blot out the name of that particular person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name ahead of my Father and his angels.“
Oh, Lord, support us wait! Please support us trust that all Your promises, by way of Your Son, Jesus, are ‘Yes and Amen’ ,and that Your timing is so considerably far better than ours. Assist us to trust, also, that You generally assistance us in the waiting, with encouragement and excellent points – if we will only be faithful to You.
“Lord, remind me how short my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
You have created my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My whole lifetime is just a moment to you
at very best, every of us is but a breath.”
“He who did not spare His personal Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all points?”