Two eagles, symbolic of Babylon and Egypt, and three kings. The last 2 kings of Israel are replaced with the third King, the Lord Himself (17:22-24; see also Isaiah 11:1). A just God deals with sinners (18:19-24). Turn and live (18:31-32). Explanation of chap. 19 (19:14).
And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it (Ezek. 17:24).
This verse explains a very important fact about God. It could even be said that it reveals several central character traits of the Lord. God is all-powerful and all-knowing. There is not another being that has existed, exists now or will ever exist that can truthfully make that claim. The Lord knows no limitations in His reasoning ability. We should never believe for a second that we know better than God. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9).
God's authority is revealed clearly in this verse. The Lord chooses what He chooses. He does not need the opinions of man to make His choice.
Mankind has a long history of making wrong choices. The reason for this is that we often look with carnal eyes instead of godly ones. If we need someone to get there quick, then we choose the fastest person. If we need a problem solved, then we choose the smartest person. It seems logical to do this. The problem is that, many times, logical and spiritual don't intertwine.
The Lord will always make the right choice when choosing an individual for a certain service which needs to be performed. It is only on rare occasions that the carnal qualities of that individual will play any part in the Lord's selection process. He needs not rely on what a person can already do. God only needs the person's availability for Him to be able to work with. The Lord is fully capable of equipping the person He calls with any needed gift to accomplish the mission at hand. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will (Heb. 2:4)?
All throughout the Bible, God chose people that most others would have rejected. Who among us, looking with carnal eyes only, would have chosen Moses over Aaron? Only when looking with spiritual vision can we see that Moses was intended to lead from birth.
In today's world, it is much the same way. We may look at an individual and think, "how will they accomplish anything for God?" Those of us chosen by God may not have a lot of value in the world's eyes. There are those who may think we could never accomplish anything. In a way, they are right. On our own, we probably could not do much. However, those called by God are not on their own. God is leading, guiding and directing our paths. With Him in control, we can't possibly go wrong. The trick is leaving Him in control, willingly following His instructions, allowing Him to lead and guide us, and not trying to do it ourselves.
Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock (Luke 6:47-48).
Thought for Today:
Are you making choices based on your own purposes or on God's will for you?
As the One whose forgiveness provides life everlasting (Ezek. 18:20-22). God so loved (the people of) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
17:18 had given his hand, had pledged his word; 18:8 not given forth upon usury . . . taken any increase, loaned money at no interest; 18:25 not equal, unfair.
Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His mercy and loving-kindness (Ps. 86:15).
Optional Reading: Revelation 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 145:1