Punishment for Jerusalem's Rejection of God's Ways
Today's reading is a devastating warning that God will punish those who have rejected God's laws. It begins with a stark example: God instructs Ezekiel to shave his head and divide the shaved hair three ways: 1/3 burned, 1/3/ struck with a sword, and 1/3 scattered in the wind. Because God's chosen people have rejected God's teaching -- in fact, they have often done the opposite of God's teaching -- all of the people of Jerusalem will face God's anger. And 1/3 of the people will die of disease and famine after battle; 1/3 will die in battle; and 1/3 will be scattered and flee for their lives.
God's vengeance will be complete -- this demonstrates again that holds the chosen people of Israel to a higher standard because they directly received God's laws and teaching. Unfortunately, the rejected those laws. (Happily, the story doesn't end here, but it does explain the suffering the people faced at the hands of Babylon.)
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