A couple of things first about the way Ezekiel organized his Book.
Because here in chapter 24 we read the last of his prophesies against Judah, Jerusalem. Chapter 25 (Wednesday’s Lesson) begins a series of sermons against the other nations (all Gentiles) of the world! These continue until chapter 40 … where Ezekiel begins a beautiful (and complex at times) description of brighter, future days for the people of God, for the Jews.
But today verses 1-14, discuss Jerusalem under the rubric of a “cooking pot,” like one might use in preparing a meal, a kitchen utensil. Listen to God develop the “word picture.”
Verses 3-4: “Utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it. Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones.” A meal is being readied! Tasty, boiled lamb, apparently.
More instructions: “Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe (to boil) the bones of it therein.” Cook the meat with the bones, not to be “de-boned.” Also I think: “Keep adding fuel under the pot, to make it all the hotter!”
Jerusalem (peopled by God’s “choice” little lambs) was about to be slain, cut to pieces, and thrown into the HOT cauldron of an angry Babylonian army, into the wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar! (He sure was good at making things HOT! Remember the burning fiery furnace, “seven times hotter?”)
Listen: “Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it.” Verse 6, a scum laden pot, dirty to begin with, not very appetizing! Bring out the pieces of meat, in no specific order, “not by lot.” They will be abused (eaten) at random!
Verse 9 continues: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great.” God Himself is adding more fuel! God’s Patience is not always inexhaustible! He WILL judge sin! The noun “pile” is “medurah” in Hebrew, literally a “stack of wood.” Or any other flammable source of heat!
Well flavored, Jerusalem! “Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.” The word for “spice” (spelled “raqach”) is translated “apothecary” 4 times in the King James Bible!
Next (in verse 11) God wants to “burn” the filth off His pot, off Judah! “Then set it EMPTY upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed.” Now we know it’s a “brass” pot, too. The word “molten” has the idea of “melting” the filth and letting it run off (drip off) the big pot.
But it’s too dirty to clean this way!
God is adamant! “She (Jerusalem) hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.” Verse 12, the residue “went not forth,” would not burn away!
Then sadly, God concludes, speaking of these Jews: “She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.” At least part of the “scum” consists of lying, deceit, crooked business practices. Plus a long list of other violations of God’s law!
Listen to the finality here. “I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they (the Babylonians) judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.” Verse 14, the conclusion of the paragraph, the metaphor. And historically, with this Sermon, the “Fall of Jerusalem” was imminent!
God does draw deadlines!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Even for America?