Daily Scripture Series – July 1st

I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.” (Ezekiel 17:24)

Picture a mighty oak tree that’s small enough to fit on a kitchen table. That’s what a bonsai looks like-a beautiful ornamental tree that’s a miniature version of what you find wild in nature. There’s no genetic difference between a bonsai and its full-size counterpart. It’s simply that a shallow pot, pruning, and root trimming restrict growth, so the plant remains small.

While bonsai trees make for wonderful decorative plants, they also illustrate the power of control. It’s true that we can manipulate their growth as the trees respond to their environment, but God is ultimately the One who makes things grow.

God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel this way: “I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.” God was foreshadowing future events when he would “uproot” the nation of Israel by allowing the Babylonians to invade. In the future, however, God would plant a new tree in Israel that would bear fruit, with “birds of every kind” finding shelter in the shade of its branches. God said that no matter how much upcoming events seemed out of control, He was still in charge.

The world tells us to try to control our circumstances by manipulation and through our own hard work. But true peace and thriving are found by relinquishing control to the only One who can make the trees grow.

Daily Questions

  1. How are you tempted to try to control your life?
  2. How does trusting in God’s control bring peace?

Daily Thoughts

We praise You, loving God, as the all-powerful King. Help us acknowledge your lordship in our lives.

Ezekiel 17:19-24

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment on him there because he was unfaithful to me. All his choice troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to the winds. Then you will know that I the Lord has spoken.'”

“‘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 forest will know that  I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I will dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.'”

“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.'”

Bonus Information

The powerful Babylonians had been attacking Judah and besieging Jerusalem. They’d already sent the royalty, aristocrats, and Jewish upper classes into exile, including the prophet Ezekiel, who was a priest. From Babylon, Ezekiel ministered to the Jews already in exile and to those still residing in Judah. He pleaded with his countryment to repent and turn to God and warned them that if they continued in their sinfulness, Jerusalem would be destroyed and the nation exiled. The Jews remained unrepentant, however, and only pretended to be interested in following God. Within seven years, Jerusalem was burned to the ground and the entire nation exiled as prophesied by Ezekiel.

 

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