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There are probably as many different ideas about God and his relationship with his people as there are people on the earth. However, there is really only one who can tell us the truth about God and that is God himself.

In Ezekiel 24, God paints a terrible picture of his judgment and punishment for the unfaithfulness of his people. He has found Israel and Judah guilty and now they will be punished. Specifically in this case, Judah will be punished as Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem. The picture that God uses as he describes the scene to Ezekiel is that of a pot that is cooking over a fire. It is cooking the meat of the flock.

It is a terrible picture because the flock here represents the Israelites who are there in Jerusalem. God has stirred up the Babylonians against the Israelites and they are now the fire that is bringing the punishment against the Israelites. Want a picture of what God and his character for those that are unfaithful? This is about as bad as it gets.

Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

“‘Put on the cooking pot; put it on
and pour water into it.
Put into it the pieces of meat,
all the choice pieces—the leg and the shoulder.
Fill it with the best of these bones;
take the pick of the flock.
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
bring it to a boil
and cook the bones in it.

Ezekiel 24:3-5

This should be a warning to each of us. We like to speak of God’s love and mercy and grace and faithfulness to each of us. And that is all true. God is amazingly patient and merciful. In fact, he was patient for century after century with the Israelites. And he is even with us today.

But not forever. God also executes his judgement and brings a terrible punishment upon those who will not remain faithful to him. It is too terrible to even imagine, so we *must* find the way. We must stay on it, live in it, and truly live as His people. Not because we are afraid, but because we are in love. In love with the one that loved us so much that he gave us himself instead of putting the punishment upon us…if only we would humble ourselves and daily accept the gift that he has given to us!

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