Ezekiel 4:1–17 (NKJV)
4:1 “You also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps against it also, and place battering rams against it all around. 3 Moreover take for yourself an iron plate, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.
4 “Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.
7 “Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem; your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it. 8 And surely I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.
This is a command of God to be a symbol of the judgment of God upon Israel. He would use an object lesson to show the attack against Jerusalem, and then had him lay on his side the number of days to represent the number of years that represents their iniquity.
9 “Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it. 10 And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it. 11 You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.”
13 Then the Lord said, “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.”
14 So I said, “Ah, Lord God! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth.”
15 Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”
16 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, 17 that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.
Another image of Israel’s judgment is the bread Ezekiel is to make from wheat, barley, lentils, etc., symbolically cooked over human waste (although actually over cow dung). This defiled bread represents the things they will have to eat in captivity.
When people ignore the commands of God, the warnings of God, the pleas of God, then they will experience the judgment of God. At the very least, they will walk in their own protection rather than the covering of God. That walk will not lead to the perfect will of God, but rather to the chance occurrences of life that happen when you roll the dice of your own will. Live like God’s will is the only thing worth pursuing. Even if it requires you to lie on your side or stare at a drawing of the siege of Jerusalem, follow the instructions of the Lord and watch the blessings flow.