Nations as trees in Eden
In this sermon, we explore how God views nations as trees in the garden of Eden.
This does not refer literally to the Garden of Eden from Genesis but rather God’s garden.
Here we see the same concept of a tree being cut down for its iniquity.
The dream that Nebuchadnezzar had was of the tree of great heights that could be seen in all the ends of the earth, which had all kinds of birds in the branches. A watcher from heaven said, “Chop down the tree and cut off all its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit…. Leave the stump and the roots in the earth”. Daniel interpreted the dream and told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the tree that was to be cut down.
…“all the beasts under the tree” is mentioned here again.
…the beasts under the tree represent the other nations that are under the influence of Babylon.
…“all the birds resting in the branches” is mentioned again.
Both Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon and the kingdom of Assyria are presented using the same imagery.
A difference here is that for Babylon the watcher said to leave the roots. This is an important difference.
Babylon captured Assyria.
Over and over again, when God sends judgement, it is stated, “That you may know that there is a God is in heaven”. If they refuse to repent, God will destroy the nation.
While Nebuchadnezzar was bragging about his accomplishments, a voice from heaven tells him that his kingdom has departed from him.
Ezekiel chapter 31 and part of 32
The Lord is talking to Pharoah, the king of Egypt, giving him a warning based upon what God had done to Assyria because of their wickedness. The Lord says to Pharoah that Assyria was a cedar in Eden.
All the birds of the heavens made their nest in its bows.
Beasts under the tree represent the nations under the influence of Assyria.
Verse 8- the cedars in the garden of God.
God refers to nations as trees in the garden of Eden (God’s garden). This does not refer literally to the Garden of Eden from Genesis. God allows the nation to prosper and grow. Nations become a “tall tree” when God blesses them. The nation of Assyria became arrogant thinking that their greatness was by their own doing.
On its ruins will remain all the birds of heaven and all the beasts of the field.
Amos 2:6 God is talking to Israel.
In Amos 2:9 God warns Israel pointing to a nation he previously destroyed. Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites whose height was as high as the Cedars…
God told Abraham that his children that they will inherit the land of the Amorites. God said to Abraham that he would inherit the land in a later generation because the Amorites’ Iniquity was not yet complete.
Amos 1:9 for three transgressions and for four I will not turn away it’s transgression
3 means the cup is full, 4 means that the cup is overflowing
There is a cup for every nation. God, in His grace and mercy, deals gracefully for a nation. There comes a time when the iniquities will overflow the cup. If nations turn from their sin (as in the book of Jonah-Nineveh was spared for 130 years) it may delay God’s judgement. 130 years later Nineveh’s cup was overflowing again.
Using this foundational understanding, we look at Isaiah 14:12 “How you were fallen from heaven oh Lucifer son of the morning?..” Lucifer means shining one.
Israel as belonging to the Lord has Michael the Archangel ruling over it. The Prince of Greece and Prince of Persia are demonic forces ruling over these nations (often attributed to satanic powers).
Chapter 14:1 “For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob” meaning (Israel).
The day will come when you will take up a taunt against the king of Babylon. The Cedars of Lebanon are rejoicing since you were cut down.
Ezekiel 27 and 28
This is another passage that is often attributed to being about Satan
Take up a lamentation for Tyre
“Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Because your heart is lifted up [arrogant] and you say, I am a God, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,’ Yet you are man, and not a god…. I will bring strangers against you…they shall throw you down into the pit… Will you still say before him who slays you, ‘I am a god’… You shall die the death of the uncircumcised….Son of man, take up a lamentation for the King of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘You were the seal of perfection…You were in Eden, the garden of God;… You were the anointed cherub that covers…
The function of a cherub : a cherub was placed to guard the way to Eden to prevent Adam and Eve from coming back.
In the tabernacle, on the curtain you would see cherubim, and in Solomon’s temple, heads of eagles or men. Cherubim are guardian angels to protect or guard.
When God appoints a leader…
When God blesses a nation (fruit in the trees)… shade provided for other nations. God intends the blessed nation to be a guardian and to bless and protect other nations. When nations become tall and arrogant, God will send warnings. If the nations heed the warnings they may be spared but if they ignore the warnings, they will be destroyed.
These teaching are a warning that God is the one that raises up nations and brings them down.
Jesus taught a parable of the mustard seed (the smallest of all trees) grows to be the tallest plant of all of the garden and all of the birds will rest in it. God’s Kingdom will never end.
If your nation is arrogant, pray that God will give them grace and that they repent!