Ezekiel 17:24 "And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it."
God is at work in the world, each and every day. God is at work, and miracles are happening on a regular basis. And for all the things that God is doing, somehow it has come about, that some donít even believe that there is a God, others think there might be a God, but he has nothing to do with me, and others believe that God can save, but is not of much use in day to day living, and plan to turn to God only in emergencies, or when its time to die, otherwise, they can do it themselves.
Our text today says something that may be hard for many to hear, for it says that all the trees of the field know something that still seems to elude us, for the trees know that their life is in the hand of God, and that God is Lord of All. Trees know about pride going before the fall, and the wages of sin being death. Trees know about judgment day, and about new beginnings. What does this mean? Is God saying that we are blockheads, or implying that we have sawdust for brains?
God made us for a purpose. God did not make us corn or potatoes. Corn has ears which do not hear. Potatoes have eyes which do not see. When God gave us eyes, they were for seeing, and when God gave us ears, they were made to hear. God made us so that he could show us and tell us all that he is doing in the world around us, and so that we, on seeing and hearing of the work of God, might praise and worship God for all his mighty deeds, and for his great act of love.
We do not need to go off in search of who we are, there is no need for self discovery, God tells us that he created us to be his dear children, and our life is about growing up as children of God. We plant seeds, and by nature they sprout and grow up. They do not have an identity crisis, they do not study what they are going to be, they simply grow as they were created. They cannot slow or hasten the process, for it happens by the power of God. The power of God takes the seed that is planted and causes it to grow.
God could come to us in power, and show us He is Lord of All, but God does not come to us in power, for if he did, it would lead to judgment. Judgment because God is holy and God is righteous, and so sin must be punished and because we are all sinners, we too would be punished. So it would be best for us if God did not come to us in power, for our sins have led us to be terribly in debt, a debt we cannot of ourselves pay. So God does not come to us in power, but God comes to us in love. In love God calls us to turn from our sin and return to him. In love God calls us to turn from going our own way and return to living as the children of God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. In love, God sent his only Son, to suffer and die to pay the debt owed on account of our sin, so that God might not come as Judge and condemn, but come as savior, and bring us forgiveness and life.
In Christ we have been given everything, forgiveness, life and salvation. But it doesnít end there, for we are the children of God, and God has given us purpose for this new life. And the greater part of our purpose is to help others to see and hear God at work in the world all around us each and every day. God didnít create us to be blockheads, or to have sawdust for brains, so if even the trees know about the things that God is doing, so God reveals this to us also, not in power, but in love. God didnít make us corn or potatoes, but he did in the water of baptism make us a new creation, that we might grow up as children of God. So we gather together to praise and worship God for his great love, and to encourage one another to live as the children of God and to grow into al that God has meant us to be.
When we grow, it his the power of God at work within us, in the same way that the seeds sprout, and in the same way that trees reach for the heavens. So we share this good news with one another, and we tell how we see, not only God working in us, but also God working in friends and neighbors. What of those who fail to grow? Well, its not up to us to judge, God plants the seed, God gives the growth, and all things will happen according to Godís time table. We can however warn, when we see those who refuse to be planted, or those who refuse water, or those who hide themselves from the sun, we can warn them that it is not good to run from God or resist His will, for if he cannot come into our lives in love, he will come into our lives in judgment, for truly He is Lord of all. And so we speak of the love of God in Jesus Christ, that those who hear, may believe and be saved, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.