"Ezekiel's Wife Dies", Buesking, 2002
The Word for today:
mark this: Ezekiel 24:16-17
"Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead."
How could God do such a thing? First he told Ezekiel that he was taking away his wife--the desire of his eyes, the delight of his soul. (Ezekiel 24:16, 21)
And then God added what sounds like the cruelest command:
"Ezekiel, don't you cry."
The people asked what in the world was going on. We ask the same:
"Won't you tell us what these things have to do with us?" (Ezekiel 24:19)
So God told them that through what appears to be the unjust death of an innocent person, he would make himself known:
"(This) will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 24:24, 27)
Promised long before, on a cross yet to come, God would remorselessly judge the desire of his own eyes, the delight of his own soul. Seen in the context of the cross, God's cruel command to Ezekiel is actually a picture and prophecy of a heart which so loved the world that he (crucified) his one and only (1); a heart which did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all (2).
Whenever we begin to wonder what these things have to do with us, we must take our questions--about the Bible, about life and death, about God--to the cross of Jesus Christ. Because that's where God made his whole heart known.
Ezekiel's wife served as a picture of the pitiless judgment that Jesus, bearing our sin, would undergo. Rest assured that, having pictured his death, she will re-enact his resurrection as well.
So don't you cry. You'll see them again.
(1) see John 3:16 and Isaiah 53:10; (2) Romans 8:32