(13 verses, 3:00 to read)
What I am about to READ
The Lord describes his future redemption of Israel and the peace for his people, as well as the consequences of turning away from his grace and mercy.
MARK and LEARN
The Lord will punish Leviathan and by this act bring about a great peace. Leviathan could represent Satan, that great deceiver of man or it could represent the general chaos of the world. In either case, demonic forces are involved and will ultimately be thrown down by the Lord.
The Lord often describes his people as a vineyard, that is, a garden with a tendency to be wild and need of attention and tending. Our Lord Jesus often used agrarian language like this. Here, the Lord is the gardener (vss 2-6) who tends his vineyard so that there are no more briers, but only peace, if one would take hold of his peace (vs. 5). To the enemies of the Lord there is here a general invitation to peace, which the Lord always desires. He desires, as he says elsewhere that a sinner turn from his evil ways and live (Ezekiel 33:11).This salvation is for the whole world, even as the Lord says that “Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots, and fill the whole world with fruit” (vs. 6). The Holy Church would indeed spread over all the earth as the message of the final redemption of Israel, promised in this chapter, was accomplished in Jesus.
This peace is accomplished in the blood of atonement, the blood of Jesus spilled on Calvary’s holy hill. We receive this forgiveness by grace and without any merit or worthiness in us. For those who would rather have their own ways and be judged according to their merits and works, he appoints for them their just desserts. Ezekiel describes them as a desolated city, crumbling and inhabited only by livestock, a great power by the world’s standards becomes a ruin when held up to God’s justice without the atoning blood of Jesus. For works are a blessed thing when formed by God and come from faith in him, but they are nothing in the end, no matter how splendid, just as a fortified city in the wrath of the Almighty.
Lord Jesus, you have provided the perfect redemption in your blood. We have been grafted into your vine by your work on the tree and we receive your gifts of righteousness, life, and salvation by your grace and merit alone. Help us cling to this dear Jesus. Amen.