This is the riddle:
A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar. He broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants. Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil. He placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig, and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out boughs.
“And there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage, and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him from the bed where it was planted, that he might water it. It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine.
hmm...two great eagles. One who took the top of cedar placing it amongst traders, planting the seed of the land like a willow twig easily growing.
And another eagle that the willow vine bent toward, wanting to be water so that it could become a noble vine.
The Lord God then postulates this question: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots. Behold, it is planted; will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it—wither away on the bed where it sprouted?”
It's a good question. Willows planted in wet fertile ground will thrive but they are easily uprooted. So just what will happen with this plant?
The Lord God then explained what he was asking.
Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon. And he took one of the royal offspring and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (the chief men of the land he had taken away), that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and keep his covenant that it might stand. But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he thrive? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape?
So the question is this: will that remnant of Israel, taken to the land of Babylon with one of the princes raised up as a vassal and that vassal rebelled. Can that vassal, that one covenanted with with rebelled... Can that person thrive? Can he escape what happens with covenant breakers?
The Lord God says "in Babylon he shall die."
Then the Lord placed all this in context: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head. I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treachery he has committed against me. And all the pick of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken.”
And out of this rebellious people, God will take a small part and set it apart on a high and lofty mountain, away from the merchants. On the mountain heights of Israel God will take that small part and let it grow. It will become like a mighty cedar growing and protecting all the little things about it.
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
It's God who does it. He brings the mighty low and raises up the lowly. It's all his doing and he does it so that we will know that HE is the Lord God. He has spoken and so it will be.