Today you should read: Ezekiel 24
This chapter is a challenging one to wrestle with, but another great opportunity that every part of God’s Word is inspired by God himself, and is therefore completely true and trustworthy. This chapter deals with two parallel types of losses: the loss of the city of Jersusalem to the Babylonians and the loss of Ezekeil’s wife. The ESV Study Bible summarizes the chapter this way:
Although not explicitly linked, the two losses recounted here almost certainly belong together, and they come at a turning point in Ezekiel’s prophetic career. The first loss (vv. 1–14) is that of the city of Jerusalem—with a Babylonian siege launched, it is the beginning of the end. The second loss, that of Ezekiel’s own wife (vv. 15–24), triggers his most poignant symbolic action. Finally (vv. 25–27), the promise of the end is made, linking this chapter back to the prologue and forward to what lies beyond the destruction of Jerusalem.
On one hand, it might be hard to understand why God would tell Ezekiel not to mourn the loss of his wife, who is the delight of his eyes. This is really an exception to the pattern that is laid out in the rest of the Old Testament in regards mourning the death of people. In other words, this is a description of what Ezekiel was told to do, not a prescription of how we should respond at the loss of a loved one. Ezekiel is ultimately modeling for the people of Israel what it looks like to be obey God even when it is hard. “So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the LORD.” (v 27) This can also serve as a reminder to us that as much as God calls us to love people, and especially our family, he still should reign supreme, and what we love and value most in life. This obviously does not mean that you should not mourn when you lose someone you love, but rather to make sure that you don’t love them more than you love God.
By: Graham Withers — Associate Pastor
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