other people’s envy
Ezekiel 31:1-9 (JDV)
Ezekiel 31:1 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of Yahveh happened to me. This is what it said:
Ezekiel 31:2 “Son of Adam, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his processions, ‘Who are you like in your greatness?
Ezekiel 31:3 Notice Assyria, a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches and shady foliage and of lofty height. Its top was among the clouds.
Ezekiel 31:4 The waters caused it to grow; the underground springs made it tall, directing their rivers all around the place where the tree was planted and sending their channels to all the trees of the field.
Ezekiel 31:5 Therefore the cedar became greater in height than all the trees of the field. Its branches multiplied, and its boughs grew long as it spread them out because of the abundant water.
Ezekiel 31:6 All the birds of the sky nested in its branches, and all the animals of the field gave birth beneath its boughs; all the great nations lived in its shade.
Ezekiel 31:7 It was beautiful with its size, with the length of its limbs, because its roots extended to abundant water.
Ezekiel 31:8 The cedars in God’s garden could not eclipse it; the pine trees couldn’t compare with its branches, nor could the plane trees match its boughs. No tree in the garden of God could compare with it in beauty.
Ezekiel 31:9 I made it beautiful with its many limbs, and all the trees of Eden, which were in God’s garden, envied it.
Kelly observes, “Assyria had been beyond the powers hitherto known for magnificence, but as a kingdom, not as an imperial system. Egypt, disposed of as it might be to take an imperial place, must fall after the same example. Political wisdom might be proud, but it could no more secure that object of ambition than the force of numbers or extent of territory. God controls and governs, not only in what pertains to His things but in those of man. As the cedar of Lebanon among the trees, for tallness, size, and extent of shade as well as beauty, so had the Assyrian been among the nations. God had grudged nothing that could adorn or aggrandize Nineveh or the people of whom it was the capital, yea, gave it to exercise enormous outreaching power and influence over countries roundabout, so as to be envied by all.” 1
So, there are many today who have been endowed with enviable gifts but are on their way to destruction. Other people’s envy cannot keep us from our fate. What matters is God’s assessment.
1 Kelly, William. Notes on Ezekiel. London: G. Morrish, 1876. p. 149.