“Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood, the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest?”
Recently, my wife and I went shopping for wood flooring. We were actually quite surprised by the number of choices available to us. We found cherry, oak, pine, bamboo and a plethora of other woods from which to choose. Upon reflection, however, I did not notice any grapevine flooring. As I recall, when we shopped for furniture, we found the same thing to be true. Lots of wood choices, that never included grapevine. In the text, God makes reference to the fact that the wood of a vine is not even suitable for making a hook upon which to hang anything. Why then would He refer to this wood as being better than other woods of the forest? The answer is found in the words of Jesus.
John 15:1 “ I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”
John 15:5 “ I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Both Israel and the individual Christian are compared to a vine. The purpose behind the illustration is to cause us to see our need to remain in an abiding relationship with Christ. To abide simply means to remain. As a Christian, it is important to do those things that will keep us in close contact with the Lord, and to avoid those things that will lead us away from Him. The things that keep us close are prayer, Bible reading, fellowship and service. When these things are neglected it is easier to drift away from the Lord, and even slide back into the lifestyle from which we were delivered, when we first came to Christ.
There may not be a more important concept in the entire Bible for the Christian to grasp, than that of abiding. We were not saved to become religious activists or moralists. We were saved to be in a living, growing, and thriving relationship with Christ. We were saved so we could walk in step with Christ, hear Him speak to us from His Word, and empower us with His Spirit.