(Ezekiel 15 ESV)
One... grapevine isn't useless... many people use it to make crafts and what not. BUT when I stop to think about usefulness in days gone past, I wouldn't say that the grape vine is useful. It's not like you can take the wood to make anything of it, it's not even strong enough to make a peg to hand a coat from. So in terms of practical value... worthless.
Two... most any wood, once it has been burned up in a fire is useless. But once you put a vine into the fire, it turns into dust. And I suppose if you wanted to get all technical and chemically that ash could be useful for something, but generally ash from fires isn't used for anything. It's a dead waste product.
Three... imagine, being thought of by God as being as useless as a vine?
Four... consider how the vine, before it was burned was considered useless. Consider how of little value it is now that it has been burned.
So the Lord considers the faithless.
I don't know why, but I read these words and I just want to weep within.
I know these words are directed at Jerusalem, who God worked with and worked with and still they turned away from him. They went after idols and images, they worshiped false gods, they did their own thing. They kept forgetting they were God's people in their desire to fit in with the nations around them.
Yet my heart weeps.
Then I think of the church today. Wanting to fit in with the world around them. Women in office, men not stepping forward to do their part, children not listening to their elders, pastors not presenting the word of God truly, and then my heart weeps anew.
How long before God deems US worthless. Deems us to be like the vines of the forest, good for nothing but the fire, and after the fire even less so?
I think of myself..(because that's what devotions do) and how often I don't do something because people might look at me funny and HOW HARD IT IS sometimes to do what is right. It's not an easy thing you know. Even for something as foolish as okay.. let me give a for instance.
The other day I went to dollarama and I picked up a candy treat that kept falling out of the cart so I put it in my coat pocket. Then forgot to pay for it. Got home and it was like oh well.. and then God whispered that if I said "oh well, I was stealing" and then having to go back to the store and admit my unwitting theftry. Seriously...it shouldn't have been a hard thing and the store owner was so surprised that I would come back over a 70 cent treat.
It would have been easier in so many ways to just say "oh well" fitting in with what the world wants and it is SO TEMPTING sometimes. You know what though? I don't want the Lord declaring me useless. I don't want to put my needs and convenience above the needs of my Lord God.
And after reading this passage, I do not want the Lord declaring me useless after all the work he's put into me.
God gave up on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He set his face against them. So much so that EVEN IF they escape the fire, they will still be consumed by it. His whole purpose is so that "you will know that I am the LORD".
Do you know it my reader... do you know that God above is LORD?
Don't be useless. Don't be a vine in the forest. Be faithful to God.