Ezekiel is, I’m starting to think the prophet with the most love. The visions don’t hide the horror befalling Israel, but the end point of God’s love winning in the end is repeated more, I think, than in other major prophets. Just a theory.
This prophesy is quite precise about Zedekiah’s reign. He was virtually the last, pathetic king of Judah. He was a puppet king of the Babylonians, but tried a power move of betraying them by relying on a deal with Egypt to protect against them. It was a dumb move that I think made the sacking of Jerusalem necessary.
These political moves are compared to Eagles carrying twigs of Cedar trees -Israel being the twigs. An uncertain propagation strategy compared to flourishing next to a sustaining River.
It ends with a vision of the kingdom of God which Jesus referred to, as a great flourishing tree, full of birds, providing shade and comfort.
At the end of all these alarming analogies of the last few chapters: the cedar twig carried off by Eagles, the prostitute, the dead vine; are promises of God’s salvation.
I’ve read a lot of dire prophesy, and many stories of death and destruction to get this far in the Bible. Maybe I’m just getting de-sensitised to it.
Maybe it was the hopelessness of Ezekiel’s audience, already political captives, learning of the situation at home worsening. There is a lot of grace here. Hope despite everything.
It’s what is so appealing about the Bible: yes there is a reason we have spiritual longings as well as fleshly desires There is a God. The one constant, and God is a God of love.
Jesus is love in human flesh. In a world of evil, against all odds, God’s kingdom is established.