Friday, 22 March 2019

Wood from a vine - Ezekiel 15

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Oh my goodness, Ezekiel is not letting up at all today. Chapter 15 is only 8 verses long, but it is packed with hard words and a strong message for those who are unfaithful to the Lord. He records this message in the form of a parable, which is quite similar to the way Jesus spoke to people in his time.

A Parable about a Vine

The Lord spoke to me. “Mortal man,” he said, “how does a vine compare with a tree? What good is a branch of a grapevine compared with the trees of the forest? Can you use it to make anything? Can you even make a peg out of it to hang things on? It is only good for building a fire. And when the ends are burned up and the middle is charred, can you make anything out of it? It was useless even before it was burned. Now that the fire has burned it and charred it, it is even more useless.”
Now this is what the Sovereign Lord is saying: “Just as a vine is taken from the forest and burned, so I will take the people who live in Jerusalem and will punish them. They have escaped one fire, but now fire will burn them up. When I punish them, you will know that I am the Lord. They have been unfaithful to me, and so I will make the country a wilderness.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.

As I read through this I thought of Jesus' parable about the vine and the branches. Jesus' parable seems to be a little more uplifting although the message is still the same. We need to stay connected to God (the Vine) in order to ensure that we are growing and producing fruit. In an interesting aside, these following words of John are also recorded in a chapter 15:

“I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me." - John 15

What does this mean for you today?

Living in Grace


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