Rev. Sean Kilgo, pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lawrence, KS, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Ezekiel 15:1-8.
Ezekiel’s sermon in this chapter is based on the familiar image of Israel as the LORD’s vineyard. He had done absolutely everything for His people by His grace, yet they had not produced the fruit of repentance that He had desired. What good is such a grape vine? The wood cannot be used to build anything; it can only be burned. That was the judgment that awaited the people of Jerusalem. The LORD would send the Babylonians to destroy the city as a judgment against their faithlessness and as a call to repentance for the people already in exile. Jesus brings this same image to mind in John 15 when He calls Himself the true vine. Where Israel had failed, Jesus did not. By His death and resurrection, He is the true source of life. All who are connected to Him by God’s grace bear the fruit of good works that He has prepared for them to do.
“The Faithful Watchman” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Ezekiel. Just when Ezekiel should have begun his service as priest in the temple in Jerusalem, the LORD called him to be a prophet in exile in Babylon. Through fantastic visions and attention-grabbing action prophecies, the prophet Ezekiel is a faithful watchman who proclaims the word of the LORD to bring people to repentance over their sins and to faith in the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, the glory of the LORD made flesh.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Jerusalem, a Useless Vine
15 And the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest? 3 Is wood taken from it to make anything? Do people take a peg from it to hang any vessel on it? 4 Behold, it is given to the fire for fuel. When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? 5 Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything! 6 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 7 And I will set my face against them. Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 8 And I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord God.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.