Ezekiel 24:1–27 (NKJV)
24:1 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, 2 “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. 3 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.
4 Gather pieces of meat in it,
Every good piece,
The thigh and the shoulder.
Fill it with choice cuts;
5 Take the choice of the flock.
Also pile fuel bones under it,
Make it boil well,
And let the cuts simmer in it.”
6 ‘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.
7 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.
8 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.”
9 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Woe to the bloody city!
I too will make the pyre great.
10 Heap on the wood,
Kindle the fire;
Cook the meat well,
Mix in the spices,
And let the cuts be burned up.
11 “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.
12 She has grown weary with lies,
And her great scum has not gone from her.
Let her scum be in the fire!
13 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.
14 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.’ ”
God continues His denunciation of Judah by declaring that she is a pot lined with scum, in which the nation cooks food and offers it to others. God told her to purify herself and burn off the scum, yet she had gone too far and would not be cleansed until she was punished.
15 Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “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. 17 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.”
18 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.
19 And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things signify to us, that you behave so?”
20 Then I answered them, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 21 ‘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. 22 And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips nor eat man’s bread of sorrow. 23 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. 24 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.’ ”
25 ‘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: 26 on that day one who escapes will come to you to let you hear it with your ears; 27 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.’ ”
God knew that Ezekiel’s wife would die, and told Ezekiel not to mourn. This would be an example to Judah of how they should react when judgment comes. Don’t mourn over your loss when it was a result of your sin. Instead, stand up and take your licks. When you sin, judgment will follow. When your children die, stand up and speak of her value. Don’t just mourn for yourself. Live righteously, and avoid the punishment that comes from sinning willfully and continuously. Burn out the scum before you cannot!