Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
“Therefore, son of man, prepare your belongings for captivity, and go into captivity by day in their sight. You shall go from your place into captivity to another place in their sight. It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house. By day you shall bring out your belongings in their sight, as though going into captivity; and at evening you shall go in their sight, like those who go into captivity. Dig through the wall in their sight, and carry your belongings out through it. In their sight you shall bear them on your shoulders and carry them out at twilight; you shall cover your face, so that you cannot see the ground, for I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.”
So I did as I was commanded. I brought out my belongings by day, as though going into captivity, and at evening I dug through the wall with my hand. I brought them out at twilight, and I bore them on my shoulder in their sight.
And in the morning the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them.” ’ Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall be carried away into captivity.’ And the prince who is among them shall bear his belongings on his shoulder at twilight and go out. They shall dig through the wall to carry them out through it. He shall cover his face, so that he cannot see the ground with his eyes. I will also spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he shall not see it, though he shall die there. I will scatter to every wind all who are around him to help him, and all his troops; and I will draw out the sword after them.
“Then they shall know that I am the LORD, when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. But I will spare a few of their men from the sword, from famine, and from pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the Gentiles wherever they go. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and anxiety. And say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the land of Israel: “They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their water with dread, so that her land may be emptied of all who are in it, because of the violence of all those who dwell in it. Then the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall become desolate; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
An object lesson on consequences for sin in the land is described in this passage. Object lessons are not new, hmm? The purpose is to attempt to reach those who are no longer following the commands of the Lord. It is an attempt to extend mercy and reach out through the pain of rejected love. The Lord tells Ezekiel:
“…It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house.…”
“… you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, …”
Not much different today. How long will the Lord be patient with this nation? As long as there are those who follow his word and his teaching? The phrase:
“…has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear;…”
is repeatedly emphasized in scripture. Jesus used this same phrase often. True is it not? We see, often it is in plain sight but we miss it; whatever the ‘it’ is. Another similarity with today is the violence in the land. The Lord tells Ezekiel to:
“…eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and anxiety. …”
“…“They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their water with dread, …”
Be sure there are many today who eat in anxiety and drink in despair for the towns are laid waste, not only in other areas of the world but also right here in our country. Visit any inner city to see this truth, or many downtown areas of our nation. He says:
“…the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste,…” and
“… because of the violence of all those who dwell in it….”
We have ample evidence of the violence done by those who dwell in these areas and the violence is spreading.
The Lord told Ezekiel:
“…I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.”…”
and the same can be true today of all believers. We are the sign to those unbelievers apart from God and to believers who no longer follow the commands of the Lord but have turned away even though they have knowledge of the Lord. Jesus said we are salt and light to an unbelieving world. This passage continues to state:
“…they shall know that I am the LORD…”
We can know him through Christ and rejoice or we can know him outside of Christ and weep. But it is oft stated that we will know that he is Lord.
Our take away is this: These may be ancient words but they are still accurate and true for today. Mankind has not changed. Neither has God. His hand of mercy is still extended to all who will ‘see’ and ‘hear’. Let’s be sure to be an object lesson to those around us. Let’s be sure to share Christ so that there may be more who can rejoice and not weep.