Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon

Today's passage is taken from Ezekiel 31.   You can read more in my Ezekiel Studies here and here.

Here is a reading of Ezekiel 31.


The Word of The Lord again came to Ezekiel, this time with a word against the Pharaoh of Egypt.  He is to ask Pharaoh this question


“Whom are you like in your greatness?

He is to then give The Pharaoh the example of Assyria, how it was like a cedar in Lebanon, a great beautiful tree, towering above others, nourished with abundant waters.  It was so beautiful, tall and luxurious that not in the the cedars in the garden of God could rival it.                                       3     Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon,
                                        with beautiful branches and forest shade,
                                           and of towering height,
                                           its top among the clouds.
                                    4 The waters nourished it;
                                           the deep made it grow tall,
                                             making its rivers flow
                                               around the place of its planting,
                                                       sending forth its streams
                                                   to all the trees of the field.
                                   5 So it towered high
                                     above all the trees of the field;
                                      its boughs grew large
                                       and its branches long
                                          from abundant water in its shoots.

This tree was indeed so beautiful that the other trees envied it, even the trees in the garden of Eden, the ones in the garden of God.
                                    9 I made it beautiful
                                       in the mass of its branches,
                                     and all the trees of Eden envied it,
                                           that were in the garden of God.

It grew to be proud, full of itself, because of all it's grandeur, so God himself, the one who grew the tree gave it over into the hand of a mighty one from the nations.

This land will deal with it as it's wickedness deserves.  Pride has caused it to be cast out.

You know.. I read those words and I think... God hates those who are full of themselves, those who forget WHOSE they are.  Seriously.  How often does God condemn the pride of men and nations?

This cedar of Lebanon which is Assyria... so proud of her fame,fortune, good looks... and GOD HATES IT.

He really does.  He sees it as wickedness and so he allows her to be cut down.
 
 12 Foreigners, the most ruthless of nations, have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land, and all the peoples of the earth have gone away from its shadow and left it. 13 On its fallen trunk dwell all the birds of the heavens, and on its branches are all the beasts of the field. 14 All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to towering height or set their tops among the clouds, and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height. For they are all given over to death, to the world below, among the children of man, with those who go down to the pit.

I read how Assyria is to be cut down and thrown into the pit and I think OH GOD.. let me not be a proud person.  Looking only to my own achievements.  Let me give the praise to God and show rightly that everything I am is his own doing.

Let me NOT be used as an example to others having them to be clothed in doom and mourning.

Look what happens to the church today when one of our "lights" is brought down.   How it makes the whole church look bad and people mourn the loss.

I am not one of those bright lights that people look...(to the larger Christian community).   But I still don't want to be caught up for pride. And in God's anger at it cause myself to be disciplined and others saddened because of it. 
 
So just as Egypt is challenged by the fall of Assyria....so I am challenged.
18 “Whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? You shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below. You shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword.
“This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord God.”

Are you challenged as well?   What do these words speak to your heart?

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