GOD will ‘HUMBLE the EXALTED’ & ‘EXALT the HUMBLE’ in due time: Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end, thus says the Lord God: "Remove the turban, and take off the crown; nothing shall remain the same. Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted. Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him." (Ezek. 21:25-27)
The background for the above passage is described very aptly in the preceding verses when God told Ezekiel to “mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take” (v. 19). When King Nebuchadnezzar led his forces from Babylon, he had to decide which nation he would attack first: either Judah and her capital Jerusalem or, Ammon and her capital Rabbah. The Babylonian king used three means to determine his next course of action: (1) casting lots with arrows, (2) consulting his idols, and (3) examining an animal’s liver (v. 21). We should be clear that these rituals in themselves could not reveal anything, but Jehovah God worked through them to accomplish His judgment. When Nebuchadnezzar reached into his quiver to select one of the marked arrows, he picked the lot for Jerusalem (v. 22). God then pronounced judgment on His people (v. 24) and their prince (vv. 25–27). Because of their rebellion against God, Jerusalem would be taken into captivity shortly to Babylon!
While the prophet Jeremiah called Babylon as God’s battle-axe (Jer. 51:20–23), the prophet Ezekiel called Babylon as God’s sword. God had pulled His sword of judgment out of the scabbard (vv. 1–7), prepared it for use (vv. 8–17), and then pointed it toward Jerusalem (vv. 18–27). King Zedekiah is the profane, wicked prince (v. 25) whose kingship would be toppled in 586 B.C., and he would be the last king over God’s people until the Messiah comes, whose right it is to reign forever. In his "Commentary of the whole Bible", Matthew Henry comments on this passage: “There shall be no more kings of the house of David after Zedekiah, till Christ comes, whose right the kingdom is, who is that seed of David in whom the promise was to have its full accomplishment. He shall have the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32; Dan. 2:44-45; 1 Cor. 15:25).
There is neither rest nor safety until the Messiah comes as the rightful Ruler, of whom the prophets from before the time of David have prophesied as the Restorer of Israel and as the Prince of Peace (Gen. 49:10; Is. 9:6; Jer. 23:5; 33:17). The turban (see Ex. 28:4, 37–39) and the crown stand for the priesthood and the kingship. Both would be removed from Judah. The priestly and kingly offices would not return until the coming of the Messiah (see details in Hebrews chapters 5–7). This is how God will ‘humble the exalted’, and God has humbled many exalted and mighty kings like King Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:16), King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:29-32), and King Herod (Acts 12:23) for our reference.
On the other hand, God will ‘exalt the humble’, and the best example is what God did for His precious Son Jesus Christ who humbled Himself even to the lowly death on the cross of Calvary: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:5-11)