The book of Ezekiel is one of the major prophets in the Old Testament. It was authored by Ezekiel who was set as a watchman to the house of Israel.
Ezek 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
The twenty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel is about the destruction of Jerusalem temple.
The day of siege
Ezek 24:1-2 Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, write down the name of the day, this very day–the king of Babylon started his siege against Jerusalem this very day.
On the 10th day of the 10th month, the king of Babylon besieged against Jerusalem which later came to be known as Tenth of Tevet.
2 Kgs 25:1/Jer. 52:4 Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
The 9th year of King Zedekiah is 588 BC.
Ezek 24:3-5 “And utter a parable to the rebellious house, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Put on a pot, set it on, And also pour water into it. Gather pieces of meat in it, Every good piece, The thigh and the shoulder. Fill it with choice cuts; Take the choice of the flock. Also pile fuel bones under it, Make it boil well, And let the cuts simmer in it.”
The pot here represents Jerusalem. The good choice cuts represents the people of Jerusalem who were filled with filthiness and uncleanness.
Ezek 24:6-12 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the bloody city, To the pot whose scum is in it, And whose scum is not gone from it! Bring it out piece by piece, On which no lot has fallen. For her blood is in her midst; She set it on top of a rock; She did not pour it on the ground, To cover it with dust. That it may raise up fury and take vengeance, I have set her blood on top of a rock, That it may not be covered.” Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the bloody city! I too will make the pyre great. Heap on the wood, Kindle the fire; Cook the meat well, Mix in the spices, And let the cuts be burned up. Then set the pot empty on the coals, That it may become hot and its bronze may burn, That its filthiness may be melted in it, That its scum may be consumed. She has grown weary with lies, And her great scum has not gone from her. Let her scum be in the fire!
The above passages show how Jerusalem is filled with scum, filthiness and grown weary with lies. God is explaining how He will bring piece by piece, all those murderers and idolaters who are in it, and execute judgment on Jerusalem.
Cleansed and not cleansed
Ezek 24:13-14 In your filthiness is lewdness. Because I have cleansed you, and you were not cleansed, You will not be cleansed of your filthiness anymore, Till I have caused My fury to rest upon you. I, the LORD, have spoken it; It shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not hold back, Nor will I spare, Nor will I relent; According to your ways And according to your deeds They will judge you,” Says the Lord GOD.’ ”
The above verse shows the character and nature of an unchanging God. It must serve as a warning.
Heb 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
We see the same warning in the New Testament. We must be very careful is keeping ourselves clean after God had cleansed us when we repented.
Ezekiel as a Sign
Ezek 24:15-19 Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh in silence, make no mourning for the dead; bind your turban on your head, and put your sandals on your feet; do not cover your lips, and do not eat man’s bread of sorrow.” So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded. And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things signify to us, that you behave so?”
God is using Ezekiel as a sign. Just as the desire of his eyes is his wife, the people of Jerusalem desired the temple so much. God took Ezekiel’s wife as a sign that He is going to take the temple of Jerusalem and kill their children. The below are the signs given to Ezekiel after God had taken his wife.
- No mourning, no weeping, no tears but sigh in silence
- Bind your turban on your head, and put your sandals on your feet
- Do not cover your lips, and do not eat man’s bread of sorrow
Ezek 24:20 Then I answered them, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, your arrogant boast, the desire of your eyes, the delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips nor eat man’s bread of sorrow. Your turbans shall be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you shall neither mourn nor weep, but you shall pine away in your iniquities and mourn with one another.
God is saying what He commanded Ezekiel to do will be a sign of what the people of Jerusalem will do when His sanctuary is profaned and their children killed.
Ezek 24:24-27 ‘Thus Ezekiel is a sign to you; according to all that he has done you shall do; and when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.’ ” And you, son of man–will it not be in the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that on which they set their minds, their sons and their daughters: on that day one who escapes will come to you to let you hear it with your ears; on that day your mouth will be opened to him who has escaped; you shall speak and no longer be mute. Thus you will be a sign to them, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
When all the things mentioned in this chapter comes to pass, when someone escapes will come and say these things to Ezekiel, He must speak why God did these things and no longer be mute.
What do we understand from this chapter? God is not going to clean us repeatedly.
Rom 11:21 for if God didn’t spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be judged worthy of, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
If God did not spare Israel, He may not spare us either. Therefore, let this chapter serve as a warning to keep ourselves away from sins after being cleansed with the blood of Jesus.