Read Ezekiel 15
Focus on verse 5
Every once in a while I have come across an item or invention that has caused me to pause, scratch my head and furl my eyebrows because it strikes me as the second most useless thing ever invented. As I contemplated this concept of uselessness, it occurred to me to ask the Internet (aka Google) if a list of such items has ever been compiled. Using the search phrase “the most useless thing ever invented” I received an amazing 222,000 results in about .6 seconds. I did not browse through all 222,000 results, but I did randomly choose a few as examples:
- A DVD re-winder (cause we all know how frustrating it is to wait for a DVD to rewind?)
- Diet water (for those who find regular water too fattening? Seriously?)
- The pet rock (sold for $4 in the 70’s and came with instructions)
- A rope less skipping rope? (presumably for those too klutzy to jump over an actual rope)
The fact that some of the above items turned out to be ingeniously marketed money makers to the proverbial “sucker born every minute” crowd does not negate the fact that the inventions really have no useful purpose other than possibly relieving people of their money.
In today’s reading in Ezekiel God uses an illustration of the wood of a wild vine – which apparently had little use other than as fuel for a fire – to describe what the inhabitants of Jerusalem had become because they had acted faithlessly toward God. This is yet another warning to God’s people of the coming judgment that would winnow the chaff from the grain. It is not mentioned in this chapter, but in the greater context the promise of a remnant that will return not just to the Lord, but also to the land continues to be the thread of hope that the faithful have to cling to.
In a more personal application, I have found that the enemy of our souls is quick to attempt to accuse us before God in an attempt to make us feel as though God has no use for us, which is a blatant, boldfaced lie. In the greater context of scripture as a whole, the love of God for His people is overwhelmingly convincing, but it is exactly in character for Satan to attempt to deceive us into feeling worthless. When we believe that lie, it ultimately causes us to question God’s love for us, which makes us feel even more useless. Ironically, as negative as the prophecy of Ezekiel comes across at this point, it is ultimately God demonstrating His love and commitment to humanity that will ultimately shine through. Perhaps the take home for us in this one is that no matter how useless the world may make us feel, we can know with conviction that we matter to God…so much so that He – in the person of Jesus literally went through hell to save us and give us a purpose.