THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part XXXII: God's Wrath On Jerusalem When His Patience Had Run Out
A. Psalm 103:8b-9 NIV claims the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love, but that does not mean His patience with rebellious sinners is eternal -- it is not!
B. Ezekiel 24:1-14 is a lesson on the venting of God's wrath when His patience has run out, a passage we do well to apply that we address any sin we might still harbor lest God's patience run out for us (as follows):
II. God's Wrath On Jerusalem When His Patience Had Run Out, Ezekiel 24:1-14.
A. On January 15, 588 B. C., God told Ezekiel to record that date because Babylon had just begun its siege of Jerusalem that very day, Ezekiel 24:1. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1274) Ezekiel had been predicting this event for four years, and it was so significant that this date "was also mentioned by the writer of 1 and 2 Kings (cf. 2 Kings 25:1) and by the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 39:1; 52:4)," Ibid.
B. Ezekiel was to utter a parable to the rebellious house of Judah as given in Ezekiel 24:3-5 (as follows):
1. A cooking pot was to be set over a fire with water put in it for boiling, Ezekiel 24:3.
2. Pieces of choice meat were to be put into the water in the pot, the choice pieces of the thigh and shoulder, and choice bones for flavoring were to be added to this meat, Ezekiel 24:4.
3. These pieces of meat and bone were to come from the choicest animal of the flock, Ezekiel 24:5a.
4. Under the pot was to be put logs to get a hot fire going to boil the meat and to seethe the bones in it for flavoring the food in it, Ezekiel 24:5b,c ESV.
C. This parable was then explained by Ezekiel as introduced by a statement both in Ezekiel 24:6 and in Ezekiel 24:9, the statement, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the city of bloodshed," NIV; Ibid.
D. Both explanations give God's charges of Jerusalem's blood-guiltiness that produced the current punishment:
1. First, Jerusalem was like a pot now rusted, whose rust had not gone out of it, but through the boiling of the water in the pot, that rust had risen to the top, ruining the meat that was cooking in it, Ezekiel 24:6-8:
a. Like a rusty pot used to try cooking even choice meat only to see the rust loosen in the hot water and float to the top, ruining the choice meat in it, the blood that Jerusalem had spilled had not even been poured out on the ground to be covered with dust, but it had been put on a rock in full exposure, a picture of Jerusalem's people not even shedding blood in secret, but openly murdering innocent people, v. 6a, 7.
b. God thus urged the meat to be removed, piece by piece, without choosing any of it to eat, Ezek. 24:6b.
c. The Lord in vengeance had set on the bare rock the blood the people of the city had shed that it might not be covered, but exposed so as to around His wrath of vengeance to the full, Ezekiel 24:8.
2. Second, God then directed that more logs be heaped onto the fire under the boiling water, to mix in the spices and let the bones in the pot be burned up, Ezekiel 24:9-10. Then, the pot was to be set empty upon the hot coals over which it had been heated that the pot might become extremely hot, that its copper might glow and its unclean corrosion be melted and burned up, Ezekiel 24:11.
3. This illustration would depict how Jerusalem had refused to be cleansed of her wickedness by the Lord just like the pot retained its corrosion, so God would vent His wrath on her in the city's fall to the Babylonians like the pot itself being heated to glow in the fervent heat of the coals until its corrosion had been burned away, Ezekiel 24:12-13.
4. God promised that He had announced this punishment, that He would not recant His words, that He would not spare or relent, but punish the city of Jerusalem according to her ways, Ezekiel 24:14.
Lesson: The illustration of the cooking pot pictures the great loss of human life that would occur in Jerusalem's fall to Babylon due to the great wrath of God against the city for its blatant sins in unrelenting rebellion against Him. Though God had wanted to remove Jerusalem's sins from her in grace, she had refused to repent, and even openly continued to commit great sins, so God's patience had finally run out and He was in the process of severely punishing the people of the city in great wrath.
Application: (1) May we realize that though God wants to be gracious, to forgive us of our sins and remove them far from us so He might bless us, if we keep cleaving to our sin, He will eventually vent His anger on us in great punishment. (2) Thus, if we harbor any sin in our hearts now, may we immediately confess it and turn from it.