Is it not ironic that the same quality can be both good and bad? The writer of Ezekiel recounts that he was instructed to take a message to Pharaoh, a message in the form of a striking metaphor. While intended for the Egyptian king, the message uses Assyria as its subject. Assyria is compared to a beautiful cedar of Lebanon, one that is well watered and towers high. It provides shade for beasts and birds which nurture their young in its shade and shelter. Alas, the tree must be destroyed. The Lord is going to allow evil powers to bring it down. Its beauty, we are told, has become an end in itself; no longer can its stateliness and perfection be enjoyed as a gift of God. Perspective has been lost. Assyria has let things go to its head. Is Pharaoh next?
How do we handle achievement? The things with which God has blessed us? Do we view them as we should, gifts of a loving and generous God, and use them as we should, to God’s glory? Do we look at them as results of God-given opportunities, or do we view them through the eyes of pride and leave God out?
Generous God, help us to view in proper perspective what you have helped us to do, signs of your gracious love. Amen. — AEA