Sour Grapes and Useless Wood

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Ezekiel 14:1-16:63Ezekiel 15:2-3, “‘Son of man, how is the wood of a vine different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful? Do they make pegs from it to hang things on?’”

Think

Have you ever wondered why God compares the Israelites to a grapevine?It is an analogy that appears multiple times throughout the Bible, and for a good reason; it provides a physical representation of a spiritual reality. The wood itself is nothing special, ill-suited for even making pegs. Likewise, the Israelites were not God’s chosen people because they were better or more holy than everyone else. It had nothing to do with any inherent qualities they possessed, but everything to do with God’s sovereign arrangement. And as the vine is for the production of fruit, so the Israelites were meant to display God’s “fruit” to the world.This portion of Ezekiel is part of a warning to an Israel that had gained an overinflated view of their own importance. God cares about us, yes, but we are not to exalt ourselves or put ourselves on the throne of our own lives; it’s a slippery slope destined for doom. Pride goes before destruction because it always cascades into greater sin.It’s important to remember that God is the orchestrator of success. He, not us, does the work of life transformation as He molds us into His people. We are saved by grace, made to let life flow and produce the fruit of His righteousness. Apart from Him, we bear nothing good — we’re merely sour grapes and useless wood.So, be fruitful and flourish as you grow toward the “Son,” giving thanks for all that He has and will accomplish through you!

Act

Pray

Dear Lord, Humble me today. Remind me that, apart from You, I’m merely “useless wood.” Cause me to want more of You and less of me as I seek to bear Your fruit. Amen.