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Now, in chapter 15:
The word of the LORD came unto me saying, Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree ( Ezekiel 15:1-2 ),
Now you remember God said concerning the nation Israel in Isaiah, chapter 5, that God had planted a pleasant vineyard, the nation of Israel. He put a hedge around it, built walls around it, fenced it in, built a winepress therein and He came at the time of harvest that He might partake of the fruit from His vine. But, behold, it had wild grapes. "What shall I do? I'll let the wall go into deterioration. I'll let the weeds grow in. I'll let the vine just go to pot and I won't watch over it. I won't come to it anymore." The vine failed to bring forth fruit. And thus saith the Lord concerning the nation Israel, "You've been My vine. What else could I have done for you, but what I've already done? And yet you haven't brought forth fruit." And of course, brings to mind, Jesus in Matthew...in John's gospel, chapter 15, "I am the true vine, My Father is the husbandman, every branch in Me that bringeth forth fruit..." and all.
Ye are the branches, and the whole idea and the purpose of God for you is that you might bring forth fruit unto God. There is only one purpose, there is only one value, one thing that a vine is good for, and that is to bring forth fruit. And He is pointing that out here, and that's the whole gist of chapter 15. The vine has one purpose only, to bring forth fruit. And if it doesn't bring forth fruit it's worthless for anything else.
Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? ( Ezekiel 15:3 )
Can you build you a bookcase out of the wood from a grape vine? No way! The wood is not good for working. You can't make anything out of vines. Actually, the vine begins to rot almost immediately and it becomes very weak and you can't put any weight on it or anything else. Neither can you use it for pegs; it has no value. You can't even use it for a pin to hang something on, because it'll just rot and fall. It just sort of becomes hollow inside and just like a piece of paper; it just falls. It has no value for wood at all.
Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; but the fire devours both ends of it ( Ezekiel 15:4 ),
It makes punkish kind of fuel. It doesn't even burn good. There's only one thing that a vine is good for and that is to bring forth fruit.
Now, you are God's vineyard, is what the Lord is saying, and there's only one thing that God is desiring from you and that is that you bring forth fruit. "Herein is My Father glorified," Jesus said, "That you bear much fruit" ( John 15:8 ). God wants your life to be fruitful for Him. That you might bring forth those fruits of righteousness from your life unto the Lord.
Behold, when the vine was whole, it wasn't good for any work: how much less for work, when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned? Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem ( Ezekiel 15:5-6 ).
They haven't brought forth fruit; they're good for nothing. And thus, I'll just let them burn like a punk.
And I will set my face against them; and they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 15:7-8 ).
And so, as God through Isaiah speaks of the failure of the people as a vineyard, as a vine to bring forth fruit and thus the desolation was coming. So the prophet Ezekiel takes up the same figure and again the idea that their failure to bring forth fruit. They're worthless for anything else, no sense of keeping them around, destroy them. They have no value, destroy them.
You remember Jesus gave the parable of the tree that failed to bring forth any fruit and the master said, "Destroy it. Why encumbereth it the ground?" The servant said, "Oh Lord, give me another year, you know. I'll plant around it, fertilize it and all, and see what will happen." But the question of Jesus is, "Hey, if you're not bringing forth any fruit, why encumbereth you the ground? What value are you? What good for you being around if you're not bringing forth fruit?" God desires that you bring forth fruit for His glory. Therefore, look at your life. Are you bringing forth fruit unto righteousness for God?
Now, Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22 ,"But the fruit of the Spirit is love." God is looking for fruit from your life. He's looking for love. Love for Him, which is manifested in our love one for another. How much fruit is God finding in your life?
God comes to His garden desiring to partake of the fruit, enjoy the fruit of it. There was nothing but wild grapes; they're sour. They're no good. They're no value. I wonder how many times God comes just to have a time of fellowship with us, just to experience our love for Him. And just to have a time of the expression of a loving relationship and here we are all soured out. Bummed out at God, because you know, things aren't going like I wanted them to go and, you know, and I'm all sour and bitter against God. How tragic that when God is coming to just receive love and friendship and fellowship with us that He finds us in these sour, bitter attitudes. God wants your life to be fruitful, to bring forth fruit for His glory. And really, that's the only value that you have. The vine has no other purpose. It's good for nothing else but to bring forth fruit.
Now, Jesus said, "I'm the vine; you're the branches." And the idea is, bring forth fruit. May your life be fruitful for God.
Shall we pray.
Father, help us that we might be so filled with Thy Spirit and with Thy love that any time You come to Your garden You may take Your fill of the fruit. As we express to You our love, our worship, our appreciation for all that You are and for all the goodness that You have bestowed upon us. Lord, help us to be more expressive of our love and of our thanksgiving in all things unto Thee. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany