Bible says in Ezekiel chapter 4:1-6, “ Thou also,
son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the
city, even Jerusalem: And lay siege
against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the
camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and
set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against
it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall
be a sign to the house of
As we study the Bible we will always be amazed at the depths of the wisdom of God and at how much more there always is to learn about the Word of God because the written Word of God is as eternal in its depth as is the Living Word. Thinking of the books of the prophets and all the judgments pronounced in them one would expect to open up the book of Ezekiel and straightway read about woe’s and lamentations and sufferings. But in the first few chapters of Ezekiel we are given a special glimpse into the Holiness of God and His work that He is ever doing in the hearts of men.
Finally here in chapter 4, some of the first consequences for sin and some of the first judgments are mentioned. It’s very interesting to notice that consequences and judgments for sin are given before even the sins themselves are pointed out. Perhaps this is because we often associate certain consequences with certain sins but it does not always happen that way. God is Sovereign and He is the just judge. He may bring about consequences and judgments for sin that may not be what you expect. They may seem to be more grievous or they may be less grievous than man would mete out. But God is sovereign and God is wise.
In these first verses Ezekiel is told that the city of
It’s good to remember that in the days of Ezekiel we did not have the entire written Word of God yet, and therefore God in those days often used signs but there was nothing particularly special or miraculous about this which Ezekiel was to do. However human nature is the same from age to age except that perhaps man slowly gets worse whereas the goodness of God only gets better. Concerning signs and miracles however Jesus had this to say in Matthew 12:39, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; but there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
It may not have mattered how miraculous the sign was that God had
Ezekiel to use, but is not the foolishness of God wiser than men? God knew
exactly what sign to give unto the children of
One more interesting point to notice in verses 5-6 is that God
told Ezekiel that he was to spend 390 days doing this illustration and that on
his right side he was to lay for 40 days, and that each day would represent one
year. A day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a
Considering these facts, the most important phrase in verses 1-6
is perhaps found in verse 4 and verse 5 where it says, “Thou shalt
bear their iniquity.” And “So shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of
It’s very important to understand the depth of the association that Jesus made with Himself and our sins. That is why the phrase “the son of man” is so often used in the Bible to refer to Jesus Christ. We see it used repeatedly here in the book of Ezekiel. It is necessary and needful for human beings to know that in a relationship with another that the other person can truly empathize with his or her sufferings. There is no one in this world who can have compassion on you the way that Jesus can because He is the son of Man and he has born the iniquity of all the world. That includes each of your sins day after day and year after year that you have committed. In fact Jesus can empathize with you better than you can with yourself. That is why there is never a need to even feel sorry for yourself. Despite how terrible your sins may be and despite how grievous to bear the consequences might seem to be, as they must surely have seemed for those of the captivity, just remember if you have Christ you will never have to suffer what you really deserve because Jesus already paid that debt.
In many ways men and individuals are as cities. Our minds and our
souls are besieged on every side by the forces of evil and by our own selfish
natures. But the walls of our own minds don’t have to be torn down and the
cities of our souls laid to ruin. If we merely trust in Jesus there will be
victory. If you feel that your life has been ruined by sin, and if you feel
that your opportunities have been wasted, and you have become as a city that
has been laid siege to or destroyed, just remember the fate of
The Bible goes on to say in verses 7-8, “Therefore
thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of
The Bible phrase “thine arm shall be uncovered” has an important emphasis to it. Isaiah 52:10, “The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” The word “uncovered” has the idea to draw out. The same word in the Bible is even used to refer to the drawing of water from a well. Of course, in the old days they did not have faucets and plumbing. It was not so simply as turning a knob and the water coming gushing forth as a fountain. But a man or woman would have to walk out to the well and draw the water in a bucket from down deep in the earth. This took a lot of work and a lot of arm strength. The prophesy means to preach. So to prophesy with the arm uncovered is to do so in strength. Men often tend to put too much emphasis on themselves and their own abilities. That is why not many wise or mighty are called. The power is in the truth. And Jesus is the truth. And that is why Ezekiel was able to prophesy with an uncovered arm because he spake the Words of God.
When you have to face the hard heartedness of the world, and those that are opposed to Christ, it can be daunting. Man is easily frightened and discouraged. Even Moses experienced and faced such fears. Of course, the one who does the drawing, or the uncovering, is God. Jesus is the water of life and He did say, “He that believeth on Him out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” It is Jesus that does the drawing and the uncovering. All you have to do is to speak His Words.
Another interesting word in these verses is the word “siege.” The word “siege” is also used
to mean strong or stronghold. Zechariah 9:3, “And Tyrus did build herself a
strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the
streets. Behold the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the
sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.” And Psalm 31:21, “Blessed be
the Lord: for He hath shewed me His marvelous kindness in a strong city.” A city
symbolizes a place of strength and refuge. This was especially so a long time
ago when more of the world remained uncivilized. Cities had walls to protect
them from barbarians and wild animals. And in cities you could find
civilization, the basic necessities of life, and many other comforts.
Copyright; 2010 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved