Ezek. 15:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Ezek. 15:2 Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?
Ezek. 15:3 Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?
Ezekiel receives another message from the Lord that seems to have direct address to a “vine tree.” We learned previously that through the prophet Isaiah God had identified Israel as His vineyard that He gave the best of care. Because of His investment, He expected to get an abundant harvest of good fruit. But what did He get? Wild grapes—poisonous, useless fruit.
Is. 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
Is. 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
Obviously, the branch of a vine is useless for anything except producing fruit. You can’t make it into anything useful; it is not even strong enough to hang a pot on.
Ezek. 15:4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work?
A vine that produces bad fruit is only fit to be fuel for the fire. It is not good for anything else.
“both ends” – Seems to be referencing both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.
“the midst” – Maybe Jerusalem.
Ezek. 15:5 Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less shall it be meet yet for any work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned?
The only thing a vine is good for is producing fruit. A branch from a grapevine is useless. Once it is burned, it is gone; it has left no lasting impression for good or usefulness of any kind.
Ezek. 15:6 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Ezek. 15:7 And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them.
Ezek. 15:8 And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.
Isaiah went on to describe Judah as a “pleasant plant,” a place of special delight in His vineyard.
Is. 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
What a disappointment it had become. God now considers His “pleasant plant” as good only to fuel a fire. They have established themselves as His enemies, so they shall experience the fire of judgment from her enemies. They will leave a destroyed Jerusalem and go into captivity among their enemies—out of one fire into another. Why is God bringing this judgment upon them? Because they have rejected Him and ended up yielding poisonous fruit. They were established to testify about the goodness of God to the world and the blessing of following Him in obedience. Instead, they had knowingly chosen to act wickedly while claiming a position of blessing in Him. This was dishonoring to God’s name and declaring a false testimony of God’s character to the nations. He was very clear from their establishment as a nation, that He would not let their disobedience go unpunished.
Deut. 8:19-20 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.