OUR FATHER WHOSE KINGDOM WILL THRIVE
Ezekiel chapter 17 verse 3 says this;
Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar,
Verse 4 continues with these words;
he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted ij.it in a city of traders.
Verse 7 introduces a second eagle this way;
“‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.
The prophet Ezekiel was given this parable to give to the people of Israel.
First, there was a great eagle who came to Lebanon and plucked the topmost branch of a cedar tree. He took the sprig and planted it in a land of merchants and traders.
Then there was another great eagle to whom the planted seedling grew toward and it stretched out to him so that it would find water and grow and produce fruit.
The Lord then asked these questions in verse 9, "Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers?"
The Lord explained the parable when no one was able to understand it.
The first eagle represented the king of Babylon who invaded Israel and took away the nobles of the land back to Babylon. This group of people is the topmost branch that the eagle plucked and took back to his kingdom where they were planted to bolster the industry and commerce of Babylon.
The king of Babylon then took one of the nobles and after signing a treaty, installed him as king of Israel to rule over those who remained there. This noble was the second great eagle who was left to rule over Israel to make it a profitable client kingdom for Babylon.
The second eagle rebelled against the king of Babylon with whom he had a treaty and who had put him on the throne. He tried to make a treaty with Egypt to get horses and an army to fight off the king of Babylon and declare independence.
The Lord's question in verse 9 was in response to this state of affairs. Would such a rebellious act thrive?
The answer, given by the Lord, was an emphatic, "no". Ezekiel chapter 17 verse 18 says this;
He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Because he had given his hand in pledge and yet did all these things, he shall not escape.
This declaration by the Lord pointed out that the noble of Israel, who was installed as the King of Israel, had signed a formal treaty between himself and the King of Babylon.
For breaking the treaty, the Lord judged the noble and he was taken to Babylon where he was killed.
This uprooting of the rebellious tree in Israel is contrasted at the end of chapter 17 in verses 22 - 23 with the tree that the Lord Himself planted.
The Lord said that He would pluck the topmost sprig of a cedar and plant it on a lofty mountain of Israel and it would grow and thrive and bear fruit.
This tree that the Lord Himself plants will become a splendid cedar and birds of every kind will find shelter and nest in its branches. Verse 23 says it this way;
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.
This final tree planted by the Lord sounds like the one likened to the kingdom of heaven by the Lord Jesus as described in Mathew chapter 13 verse 31. With Jesus as the subject, the verse says this;
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”