Israel Degraded

During his days as guest lecturer at Calvin Seminary, R. B. Kuiper once used the following illustration of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. “I liken them to two ropes going through two holes in the ceiling and over a pulley above. If I wish to support myself … More

Sovereignty

Ezekiel explains in prophetic form the last declining years of Judah. He uses an illustration of a lioness and her cubs to illustrate his message (vv. 1-9). With this picture of the lioness and her cubs he raised the curiosity of his listeners. It is suggested that the lioness symbolized the nation of Judah and the two cubs were two of its kings. First, she is likened unto a lioness that trains her young lions in the art of savagery. The two young treacherous lions are thought to be Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin. Just as they were treacherous and cruel, so were they subdued. Pharaoh Necho captured Jehoahaz and led him to Egypt, as an animal in 609 BC (II Kings 23:33), where he died.

Second, Judah is likened to a very fruitful vine (vv. 10-14). Its strong branches are its kings. It rose to great glory, particularly in the reigns of David and Solomon. The lioness has been believed by some to be the wife of Josiah, the father of Jehoahaz. But the lioness is related both to Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin. It appears that she is meant to refer to Judah. Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon, along with ten thousand of the leading citizens, where he was imprisoned for thirty-seven years (II Kings 24:14). Not even the political and military might of Judah’s kings could save that nation. Like branches of a vine, they would be cut off and uprooted by “the east wind,” the powerful Babylonian army. From that time until the present there has not been a rod or branch ruling in Israel, but we know that in due time there will be a Branch to rule over Israel.

Application

Like the illustration above states, I must exercise childlike faith when it comes to reconciling the doctrines of election and free will and am confident that in eternity He will reveal the truth of both.

Ezekiel 19:1-14 (English Standard Version)


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