Ezekiel 17:22-24 - Thus says the Lord GOD: "I Myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I Myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it."
Our reading from Ezekiel is easier to understand when you realize that God has just finished telling a parable about someone else who took a sprig from the top of a cedar and planted it. That person was the king of Babylon, who took a prince from the royal house of David and left him to rule what was left of Judah after Babylon conquered it and became its overlord. But the prince left in charge was faithless; he did not keep his sworn promises, but rebelled against the king and paid for it with his life. And the people he ruled suffered for it as well.
Now God says that He, too, will take a sprig from the top of a cedar—a Child from the house of David—and He will plant it for Himself. But this Prince will not be disobedient or faithless. This Prince will become great in His faithfulness, and He will be a shelter for everyone around Him—like a tree, where all the birds nest in perfect safety.
What a great picture of our Lord Jesus! He is truly the Child of the family of David whom God planted and made great—not for His own sake but for the sake of God's people, everyone who comes to roost in His shade. He is our safety and our home. Jesus does not rebel against the Father; instead, He does exactly what the Father commands, and that turns into a blessing for us.
We see that faithful love in so many areas of His life—when God planted Him, a speck of human life, in Mary's womb; when He was born in poverty and grew up in the back of beyond, with nobody to recognize Him or honor Him for who He was. We see it in His patient, loving service, as He taught everyone who came to Him, and healed their sicknesses. We see it in His suffering and death for us—for although He had done nothing wrong Himself, He accepted our deserved punishment so we might all be free of it. And we see it in His resurrection, where God made it clear that this Son of David was indeed God's own beloved Son, who does everything well—and who has saved the world. His faithfulness is our safety, our life, and our joy.
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You for being faithful both to the Father and to us. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Who is someone you know who is very faithful, even when it hurts?
2. How do you take refuge under Jesus' branches and find safety and food there?
3. How do you think the ideas of faith and faithfulness are connected to each other?
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