Tuesday, August 7, 2012
And the LORD said, "Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them."
God was making a point about the suffering of the exiles by insisting on Ezekiel's example teaching an object lesson to the Israelite leaders currently in exile in Babylon. The prophet was to spend roughly 14 months lying in a specific position and besieging a clay model of Jerusalem. All the while he was given a limited bread and water diet to symbolize the hardships that God was bringing in judgment. The bread had to be baked in an oven using dung for fuel. But all the weird instructions were meant to get the attention of God's people.
The purpose of this unique way of preaching was to get their attention and draw them to God's message. They did not seem to listen well to God. Maybe the visual drama attached to these episodes would get them to believe what God was saying to them! This was all a way to recapture the imaginations of a wayward people.
All this strange prophesying was a way in which God continued to convey His love to a people that had completely rejected Him. This was a desperate time. It called for drastic measures to communicate. And to see the way God chose to use Ezekiel in this way just confirms to me that no matter how bad people can get, God will still choose to speak to them, calling attention to their deeds and bringing glory to Himself.