The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it; the cypresses could not compare with its branches, nor the plane trees match its boughs. No tree in the garden of God could compare with its beauty.
I. A REGION ABOUNDING IN FRUITFULNESS. In the first garden of God there grew every tree that was "good for food." The ideal state of human society is one in which all conceivable fruitfulness will be found; there will be ready for the hand of the Husbandman the fruits of faith, of devotion, of love, of sacred joy, of helpfulness, of calm contentment, of happy and unquestioning obedience. From all hearts and lives these fair fruits will spring.
II. A SCENE OF EXQUISITE BEAUTY. "The garden of God" must be, quite independently of all reference to Eden, a place of perfect beauty. Its trees and shrubs, its herbs and flowers, its lawns and paths must together present the appearance of perfect pleasantness to the eye. Such should, such (one day) shall our human societies, our communities, and our Churches be; they will be scenes where there is every form of human loveliness. There must be no unnatural monotony. As in our gardens we like to have vegetation of every possible variety of size and shape and hue, so in "the garden of God" shall there be every manifestation of moral worth, of spiritual beauty. One will not say to another, "There is no need of your particular excellence;" but each will rejoice in the manifold graces which are to be seen on every hand.
III. THE SPHERE OF HAPPY CULTURE. Our first parents were placed in Eden "to dress it and to keep it." Even "the garden of God" requires attention, planting, culture. So, certainly, does the most refined and Christianized human society. There may be much knowledge and there may be excellent habits within it, but it will always need careful and diligent culture - much seed-sowing; some weeding; some pruning and occasional transplanting. We may learn:
1. That it is better to be the humblest herb in the garden of God than the stateliest cedar outside it; better be utterly obscure in the right place than very prominent in the wrong one.
2. That each particular flower in the garden of God lends its own fragrance to the air; the garden would not be complete without it.
3. That not only does it behoove us to be as a flower in the garden of God, but it also befits us to be as a gardener extending the grounds, or planting or tending within its bounds. - C.
They...that dwelt under His shadow in the midst of the heathen.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.).
PlacesAssyria, Babylon, Egypt, Lebanon, Tigris-Euphrates Region
TopicsArms, Beautiful, Beauty, Boughs, Branches, Cedars, Chesnut-trees, Chestnut, Compare, Compared, Comparison, Cypresses, Cypress-trees, Equal, Fir, Firs, Fir-trees, Garden, God's, Hid, Hide, Match, Nothing, Pine, Plane, Plane-trees, Rival, Tree, Trees
Outline1. A relation unto Pharaoh
3. of the glory of Assyria
10. and the fall thereof for pride
18. The like destruction of Egypt
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 31:8
To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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