-In the year 588 B.C. in the tenth month and on the tenth day of that month the word of the LORD came upon Ezekiel again. This word coincided with the exact day that Nebuchadnezzar’s forces from Babylon laid siege on Jerusalem, which would bring the city and nation to its knees and a complete overthrow in less than two short years (Ezekiel 24:1-2). God told His prophet to speak in another parable to the rebellious house of Israel, which was in Babylonian captivity. The parable revolved around a pot that was put on the fire with water, all the pieces of the meat, and choice bones. It was brought to a vigorous boil and the bones were seethed in it (Ezekiel 24:3-5). The LORD then pronounced a double woe upon the “bloody city” that was under His judgment. The first woe consisted of a denouncement of sin (the encrusted rust that would be boiled within) and the wrath of a fiercely jealous God. There would be no covering for the abominations at this point of destruction. The second woe consisted of a great pile that was made of flesh mixed with spices and burned bones. The heat was intensified so that all the filth could be melted away in the pot. This consumed the rust. Judah had wearied their God with making Him toil for their unbelieving hearts. They would not turn to Him and continued to sin more and more with no shame. The LORD would have cleansed them, but they would have none of it. They remained proud in their uncleanness, so God took His just wrath on them through the Babylonian invasion and siege that quickly would conquer. “I, the LORD, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you,” the LORD God declared (Ezekiel 24:6-14).
-As a sign, Ezekiel’s wife, the desire of his eyes, would pass away as the LORD took her from the prophet in that evening of the prophesy (Ezekiel 24:16, 18, 24, 27). Ezekiel was commanded not to mourn, weep, or cry. His groans could only be silent in his sorrow for the dead loved one. He was further commanded to defy typical grieving rituals in the Jewish tradition by binding his turban, wearing his shoes, leaving his mustache uncovered, and not eating the bread of men (probably condolence food given to the ones in mourning). When the people asked for an explanation unto the meaning of these things, Ezekiel spoke the words of the LORD, “Behold, I am about to profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword (Ezekiel 24:15-21).” The people were then told by God not to mourn, just like Ezekiel had done for the time had come for Jerusalem’s destruction and for His people to KNOW Him as their LORD above everything and anyone. God urges His prophet not to be mute any longer, but to speak as His messenger and signpost so that all will KNOW who He is (Ezekiel 24:22-27).
-*Application* Jesus made a similar assertion in Luke 14:26-27 when He stated, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” God’s point is that He must come first in our priority list. Does everything in our lives fall behind our obedience to Him? This is the point of this sign unto Ezekiel. God doesn’t desire death and hate, but in comparison to our love for Him we must give everything else up or we have idols in our heart. That is the very thing He detests. Sometimes He has to go to extreme measures and language to get us to realize this fact. He wants to pity on us and relent of His anger, but we must come to Him on His terms (For the grace side see Jonah and Hosea).
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 24:14