This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.” – Ezekiel 17:22-24
These words of the prophet Ezekiel may seem a bit obscure when read by themselves. Knowing their setting helps us to grasp their meaning. The Israelites were carried off from the Promised Land. They were now in captivity in Babylon. Their future did not look good; yet God had made a promise to send a Savior. In time, some 500 years later, God did send the Savior. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, born of Mary. When God makes a promise – he keeps it.
The words today remind us that Jesus came to be the Savior of all. All who put their faith and hope and trust in him shall be saved. Just as the birds from every nation find rest in the branches, so we and all who believe in Jesus enjoy the blessings of having that living relationship with Jesus.
Sadly, some do not acknowledge Jesus as their eternal Savior from sin. Perhaps it’s because they are looking for a different kind of savior. Perhaps they want a financial savior, or a relationship savior, or some other genie-in-a-bottle miracle-working savior. One day, says our Lord, everyone will know that Jesus is the one God promised. One day, all those who rejected Jesus will know that he is the one.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of this reading is the last words, “I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.” Ezekiel speaks as though the promised Messiah has already come, though he wouldn’t come for another 500 years. This illustrates how sure and certain every one of God’s promises are. They are as good as gold, as solid as steel; when God makes a promise – he keeps it!
What a blessing that is for us today, especially when we begin to doubt or question if our sins can really be forgiven or what will happen to us when we die. God has made a promise to you in Jesus. He carried that promise through to completion, just as he said he would. God spoke it. God accomplished it. It is finished!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to always trust your promises whole heartedly. Help my faith not to waver but to rely upon your every word for you have indeed assured me of the forgiveness of my sins through Jesus my Savior. Amen.