Will the sword of Godâ€™s judgement â€“ Babylon â€“ mean the final end to Judah and her ruler? Is there no further hope of the ultimate â€˜sceptre of Judahâ€™? Jerusalem had engaged in more corrupt and lustful prostitution than Samaria (the Northern kingdom) that had fallen in 722 B.C.
Israel could not believe that God would destroy their beloved temple. They do not accept that the city of peace had become the â€˜city of blood.â€™ The final blow in these chapters falls upon Ezekielâ€™s wife. Her sudden death becomes a heart breaking reminder to Israel (Godâ€™s wife) that her time is up.
The commanded silence of the prophet is a poignant sign to Israel who will have to suffer in silence in exile when the â€˜delightâ€™ of their eyes is destroyed. But could it also be a sign of Godâ€™s unspoken grief in striking the One who is the â€˜delight of His eyesâ€™ â€“ the one â€˜who is close to meâ€™ â€“ in order to awaken all of us to the seriousness of sin, the necessity of Godâ€™s judgment and the wonder of His deep, deep love?
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.