June 11

 Ezekiel 17:22-24

“Thus says the Lord God: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.” vs. 22

Ezekiel writes from Babylon at a time of crisis and turmoil in Jerusalem. The expected military help from Egypt had not arrived and the last Davidic king had been hauled off into captivity. Politically Israel and Judah had been wiped out…there was no longer any reason for the people to be hopeful. But Ezekiel has not given up and uses an allegory to describe what the Lord God will do. The sprig of a cedar will be planted…and become a mighty tree and give shelter for every living thing. The people of Israel will not only survive, they will prosper. Those words of hope from Ezekiel were remembered and savored in times of great difficulty. Even though Israel never attained the status imagined, they did survive as a people, sustained not by powerful armies but by the healing presence of God. It’s a lesson that we should all tuck in the backs of our minds. Too often we believe that political alliances and treaties are the keys to the peaceable kingdom and consequently put our eggs in the basket of diplomacy or military might. Ezekiel reminds us that when all those plans go awry, as they most certainly will, it is the Lord God who will be our refuge and strength.

Thought for the Day: What is the key to world peace?

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