Ezekiel 5 has another picture lesson that God asks the prophet to deliver. Ezekiel shaved his hair, weighed it, then divided it into three equal parts. One part he burnt on his model city of a brick he lay beside each day, symbolizing the death of one third of the city’s people through famine and disease. The second part he scattered around the model city, then chopped up the hair with a sword, symbolizing the slaughter of many in fighting around the city. The third portion he scattered to the wind, symbolizing those who would be taken captive. “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard”.
God had a plan for His people, but they just didn’t get it. “This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her”. God set Jerusalem and His people up to succeed, but they just didn’t get it. They made choices to ignore and disobey. And with that comes a price. But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes. People have made the choice to sin. And God will respond – He has to because of His holy and just nature.
“Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you….Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations”. It didn’t have to be that way. But the people behaved worse than the heathen nations around them. God will judge them and it will be harsh and complete.
Sin separates us from God. It always has, and always will. Unless we deal with it and restore our relationship, God has no option but to punish us. “I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind”. No one will be spared. Sin will be addressed and people will die. Not because God is mean or likes to hurt people. But because He is a righteous and holy God who can do nothing less.
God’s people will experience the horrors of this terrible judgment. “My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased….it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror….when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes”. He gets no joy from it, but God must take action based on the wrong action of people. He is left with no alternative to our choice to sin against Him than to punish us. That is, unless we receive the grace and mercy of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross through repentance and salvation.