God’s Chosen Remnant

How special are God’s chosen people to Him?  Are they really supposed to be different than the rest of the world?  Or are they difficult to distinguish on the outside?  I think today’s verse gives an answer to that question.

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.  On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.  All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.  I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.”  — Ezekiel 17:22-24

I have heard many different versions of how we should interpret “being in the world, but not of the world”.  A common perception is that we should immerse ourselves in what the world has to offer, so that we can get “close” to those who are lost and help lead them out of the darkness.  But I fear that this is a dangerous course – just look at Lot’s proximity to Gomorrah and the negative impact that city had on his family.  Instead, I am being led to the conclusion that we should be noticeably different from the world around us.  God chooses his remnant from the very top of the mighty cedar, and it bears fruit, and becomes mighty, providing light and shelter for others.  There is nothing wrong with being called “different” by the world.  Rather, I think it is expected for those who would remain faithful to Him.


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