God at Work1
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.
- Ezekiel 17:22
This week we’ll be reading a passage out of the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel wrote to a community who had been carried off into exile and stripped of hope. He spoke to them the Lord’s words of judgement but also told them about God’s desire to show mercy. Although they now lived in Babylon – far from the promised land – the Lord continued to speak to them.
In today’s passage, the Lord describes himself like an eagle breaking a twig off of a cedar tree and transplanting that tree to the top of a high and lofty mountain. That tree thrives and bears fruit. On that mountain the tree grows up to become a noble cedar.
Ezekiel here encourages his readers to make the connection. Just as the eagle carried the tender twig to the mountaintop, the Lord will carry his people to a place where they can thrive.
Ezekiel pulls back the curtain on reality and invites his readers to take a close look at what’s really going on. The political and military machinations of the world powers look like ultimate powers, but God is also at work. God’s work continues even in seasons of difficulty and uncertainty. And God’s work is the work that matters most.
The good news that God’s work matters most means that our lives are not defined by our mistakes, just as Israel’s history would not be primarily defined by her mistakes. Even amidst bad decisions that that affect us in devastating ways, God’s work has the last word over our lives.
As you grow up in your faith and as we as a church continue to grow, we need to remember that God is at work and his work is the work that matters most.
How have you seen God at work in your life recently? How have you seen God at work in our community?