25 “And you, son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes, their heart’s desire, and their sons and daughters as well— 26 on that day a fugitive will come to tell you the news. 27 At that time your mouth will be opened; you will speak with him and will no longer be silent. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”
The verses above follow God’s directions to Ezekiel not to publicly mourn the passing of his wife as was the custom, but to Groan quietly (v17) instead. Of course those around him wanted to know what this had to do with them (v19) “Won’t you tell us what these things have to do with us? Why are you acting like this?”
Ezekiel answered them and surely they did not care for the answer as they too would face great loss. Ezekiel’s loss of his wife must have been terrible for him as it was compared to when God would take from others their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes, their heart’s desire, and their sons and daughters as well. What was their stronghold?
God provided the answer in no uncertain terms through Ezekiel
20 So I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me: 21 Say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to desecrate My sanctuary—the stronghold in which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection. The sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword. 22 And you will do as I have done. You will not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners. 23 You will keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet. You will not mourn or weep but will waste away because of your sins and groan among yourselves. 24 Ezekiel will be a sign to you; you will do just as he has done. When this happens, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.’
God’s sanctuary will be torn down against His will, but because He wills it. I have to wonder if at least part of the reason it was going to be desecrated was because the sanctuary became an object of pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection, in effect it became an idol replacing God. This prophecy of Ezekiel came to be
In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month on the fifth day, a man who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” Ezekiel 33:21
The city had fallen, the sanctuary desecrated, the sons and daughters left behind dead, their hearts now in despair at the news. Then once again Ezekiel’s mouth was opened to speak the words the Lord would give him as since the prophecies given above the prophet gave no more prophecies until this occurred as foretold.
There are many possible takeaways from this, but my takeaway is to remind myself no matter what beauty and wonders I observe around me, to always know and remember they are given by my Creator and they show me His greatness and His beauty and wonder. Even looking at my children and grandchildren to always give thanks to the Lord for His gift of them to myself and my bride.
As we go through the week, remember His greatness and His wonders as well as His Free Gift of Mercy through His Son. We are so easily distracted by all that He provides that we often forget Him. Let it not be so in our hearts today and the days to come.