A Plant of Renown
Ezekiel 34:29: “And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more”.
This passage of scripture is being described by cannabis activists these days as a prophecy concerning cannabis. From the perspective of one who has been a life-long student of theology and philosophy, I know what the passage means in relationship to the scattered tribes of Israel, but from that same perspective, I hold that scripture is meant to both caution and INSPIRE men.
Having said that, I’d like to share these thoughts. This passage contains 3 elements, an action by God and two results of that action. So let’s assume that God’s action is to “raise up” the cannabis plant in “renown”.
They shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land
If we were allowed by the government to freely cultivate and use cannabis, would it stop “hunger in the land”? In 2014 more than 45 million people (14.5% of the population, or roughly 1 out of 7) in the USA were “food insecure” and lived below the poverty level.
Of course Cannabis can be used as a food source! It is, after all, a plant, just as hot peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pole beans are plants. It is a “seed bearing” plant, which brings to mind Genesis 1:29, which says “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
Science has proven that we have a wonderful endocannabinoid system in our bodies to make use of cannabis. The leaves of the plant can be used in cooking, salads, juicing, etc. The oil from Hemp seed is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. The seeds themselves can be used as food. I don’t know that, as a food source, cannabis could stop “hunger in the land”, but it could certainly play its part.
What about some other hungers we have here in “The Land of the Free”? Aren’t we hungry for the cessation of tyranny and oppression? Aren’t we hungry for our elected officials to act justly and in OUR interest instead of theirs? Aren’t we hungry for the end of corrupt politicians? Could cannabis legalization also lead to easing the pangs of those particular hungers?
Neither bear the shame of the heathen
The phrase “the shame of the heathen” is used in several chapters of the book of Ezekiel. In “The Banner of Israel, Vol 17” Rev Dennis Hanan, D.D. speaks on “THE SHAME OF THE HEATHEN”. As I read his exegesis, I caught several phrases in the opening paragraph which I have excerpted and compiled into one thought.
“Those who as civil governors ought to have prevented the oppression of the weak by the strong …. neglected their duties …… and God said …… that He was therefore against the shepherds”.
Cannabis, in its Hemp form, helped make this Nation great. The fibers were used to manufacture rough clothing, rope, paper and other commodities in the early days of this country’s independence from England. It was a staple crop throughout the land, the cultivation, and processing of which provided jobs (another way of stopping hunger?). Greed, bigotry, and political lobbying changed all that around 1937. We should pray that God IS “against the shepherd”, as represented by our government, and that they will return to a just way of thinking, especially in the matter of cannabis law reform.
Was Ezekiel 34:29 a cannabis prophecy? I cannot say. After all, Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. I surely cannot out think the Omnipotent.
What I can say is, in my mind, the argument could be made, based on God’s desire to inspire men through His Word.