Ezekiel 5 and 6
After Ezekiel laid on his side and ate meager portions, God asks him to cut his hair and beard with a sword. It probably looked awful if I’m being honest. The first time I cut my own hair, I was in high school. I used electric clippers and forgot to put a setting on and basically shaved the sides of my head only. I looked like Junior Asparagus from Veggie Tales. If you don’t know who that is and can’t look it up because you don’t have the internet which would be impossible if you are reading this blog, suffice it to say I looked like a pale asparagus.
So, Ezekiel cuts his hair and is asked to weigh it, divide it, burn a third of it in the city, another third he scatters throughout the city with a sword and another third he scatters to the wind. I’m not sure how much hair Ezekiel possibly could have had, but it seems like this all could not have taken very long. It seems like it would take longer to write about what happened. But what lasts for a little while is Ezekiel’s appearance.
The prophetic word Ezekiel gives to the people is a message that described Israel as a nation of favor and status, at the center of attention among other nations. Israel was important, it was visible, and now in judgment, nations will see how Israel is punished and will look at God’s chosen people with reproach. Ezekiel becomes the embodiment of Israel in the sight of the nations, among his own people; looking like a disheveled mess. After all, how good would you have to be to look clean cut using a sword?
Despite Israel’s idolatry and subsequent judgment, God promises that some Israelites will be left alive. The remaining hairs Ezekiel has, God sees and counts. Like Ezekiel and Israel, He has numbered all the hairs on our head or in our hand. He has good thoughts towards His people even when we are an utter mess. Hair grows back, but more than that, our hearts can grow to have a greater affection for God in place of the things we made into idols.