By Benjamin H. Liles
In regards to Ezekiel 24 we need a little background information. And the information is this, "In the ninth year, in the tenth month...the king of Babylon started his siege against Jerusalem this day" (Ezekiel 24:1-2, New King James). Who are we talking about here? Who are the key players? Jeremiah in his book says of this day, "Now when Jerusalem was captured in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it" (Jeremiah 39:1). So the key players Ezekiel is talking about are the kings Zedekiah, king of Judah, and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
After that God speaks to Ezekiel, telling him to give the rebellious house of Judah a parable:
"Put on a pot, set it on,
And also pour water into it.
Gather pieces of meat in it,
Every good piece,
The thigh and the shoulder.
Fill it with choice cuts;
Take the choice of the flock.
Also pile fuel bones under it,
Make it boil well,
And let the cuts simmer in it" (Ezekiel 24:4-5, New King James).
It seems the meaning is rather clear considering Judah has forsaken the true King, being God Almighty who has reigned over her even before Saul became king, before David became king and his son after him, Solomon. The people of Judah partook in the same sins as other leaders, religious leaders at that, who bowed to idol-worship and chose not to listen to the voice of their God. Rather they became like other nations, offering their people and children up as sacrifices.
And we see that fulfilled when God tells Ezekiel, "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. 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” (Ezekiel 24:16-17). The meaning is clear: violence has overtaken the city of God, murder and hate are filled in the streets, children being offered up as a sacrifice to God, and brother are against brother, and family against family.
Ezekiel tells the people of Judah what the Lord God told him to say, "The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘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. And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips nor eat man’s bread of sorrow. 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. 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’" (Ezekiel 24:20-24).
The whole point of this is to say that God doesn't desire to mistreat us. However, if we are His children, and we are through Jesus Christ's shed blood, He will discipline us. He does this so we remember the things He has done on our behalf. But we have to remember who He is as well as who we are. In His eyes, as Paul the apostle says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, Holman Christian Standard).
But if we have put our faith in Him, through His Son Jesus Christ, we are set free from sin and no longer slaves or bound by sin. It doesn't give us the license to go n and continue in the lifestyle of continuous sin as we once have. When we feed the Holy Spirit what rightfully belongs to it--that is we self sacrifice our rights, our independence being dependent on God Himself--we fulfill the very word of God in our lives. But it's not according to anything we have done, but by the power and testimony of Jesus Christ whose blood was shed so we have righteousness before a just and holy God. Gone are the days of sinning and remaining in death. We have passed from that life to a new life, one in which we can now honor God.
Therefore, as I come to end this, we no longer operate under the ability to commit blood lust, which is hate, but to operate under the guidance and power of His Spirit who now indwells us. We have this treasure within us, the right to know when we have done wrong, to be able to come back to God, asking Him to forgive us, to make us clean, and to guide us in His ways--His holiness and purity--so we too may be holy as He is. I pray this helps you understand that you don't have to act under the influence of sin and death. It is my prayer and hope you see Jesus Christ, the risen Lord and Savior of mankind as for who He is, the light and life of all. It is through and by Him that we are sustained and made whole and right with God, and it is by Him we are able to love God as well as others. It is also in the name of Jesus Christ i pray you find and meet Him. Amen.