The Outcast Vine

A story is told about a family history. “In the late 1920s the grandparents married and moved into Grandpa’s old family home. It was a clapboard house with a hall down the middle. In the ’30s they decided to tear down the old house and build another to be their home fo … More

Unfruitful

The prophet perhaps anticipates the arguments of the wicked people in Jerusalem. They reason that  God has chosen them and blessed them in an unusual way? Surely he cannot cast them as “rubbish.”

Ezekiel, however, says he can, and will. He goes to compare them to a vine. Even when complete, it was virtually worthless for any constructive building. When damaged by fire, it was absolutely worthless. The teaching is clear. Even at its best, Jerusalem was not much. Now that she has become infected by sin, Jerusalem is really without value. God must act in accordance with his true character. The guilty must be punished. The figure of comparing God’s people to a vine was a favorite one in the Old Testament (Isa. 5; Hos. 10; Jer. 2:21).

The particular tree Ezekiel mentioned is not fruit but a wild vine that grows in the forest. It is inferior because it does not bear any fruit and produces no wood which can be used as timber. Man is very much like a vine. He is capable of producing fruit. He may become like the God in whose image he is made. If he fails, however, he is completely worthless. When one possesses a moral nature and fails to develop it or perverts it, he becomes inferior to the animals who do not have a moral nature at all. Man is completely dependent upon God. When he neglects the help that can be supplied through fellowship with his creator he fails to realize his possibility. A collective number of men cannot be independent of God any more than a single individual without suffering dire consequences.

Application

Without the Lord I am of no value. I read some place that the chemical makeup of our body is worth less than one dollar.

Ezekiel 15:1-8 (English Standard Version)


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