Studies in Ezekiel – Ezekiel 24:16-24
M – O – U – R – N
See also: Lev. 19:28; 21:1-3; John 11:30; Ps 27:4; Hosea 9:4; 2 Chronicles 30:8-9; Rms. 12:1-2; Matthew 24:15-16
Muffled Moaning – v. 17 – This may count as one of the strangest stories of the Bible. The prophet is directed by God to internalize his mourning for his wife. The day she dies is the day the city of Jerusalem is under siege.
Object – v. 21 – The prophet was not without feeling. To the contrary, the wife who dies is the very object of his affection. She is the apple of his eye.
Uncustomary – v. 19 – The prophet’s behavior is so extraordinary it prompts the people to ask what is happening. This is the purpose of God — to awaken curiosity. God’s people need to be curious today about God’s will and work.
Ruined sanctuary – v. 21 – Across the miles something is happening. God’s precious sanctuary is being ruined. In the Christian faith we have a new sanctuary, our bodies where the Holy Spirit dwells. We can ruin God’s plans by ruining our bodies.
Notice to the nation – v. 22-24 – God has not forgotten what is going on. He forewarns Israel that it must respect God as holy. Even the nation that lays siege to Jerusalem must consider its actions, since it too will come under judgment.
Exemplary story: Senator John McCain became a prisoner of war. In his autobiography he relates some of his experiences. Prisoners of war could not openly communicate their suffering and loss. In spite of this restriction they often found a way to encourage one another by a series of taps on cell wall and floors. In these times of sorrow they could lift one another’s spirits by a word from scripture. It was God’s word that upheld the prophet in his darkest hours.