Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity. Ezekiel 4:16,17( NKJV)
Behind the Word – with anxiety – (Hebrew) – d@-‘agaw – with anxious care driven by the fear of lack… –with dread (Hebrew) shimmamown – (Strong’s) with horror, dismay or appalment. (Jamison, Fawcet and Brown) — the stupefied look of despairing want.
These verses depict the often multiply layered meaning of the Word of God. The first meaning we see is the literal depiction of the trouble coming for a disobedient people who will soon suffer eighteen months of siege and will know too well the anxiety and dread of lacking even the basic bread needed to sustain their lives. …they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread… God not only depicts their physical condition, but reveals the character decline that they will both witness and participate in as they turn against one another as their struggle to survive continues … and be dismayed with one another….
The same verses also speak into the overall eschatological message of the bible when combined with Daniel, Revelation, Matthew 24, II Thessalonians, and others. That message is far too great to address here.
Also, these verses speak to us today regarding our spiritual condition as a country and as the Lord’s church. Less than half of the pastors in many mainline denominations have had a born again experience or hold a biblical worldview. (Barna) As a result most American Christians hold a low or mixed view of the authority scripture. …they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety…. Jesus said, I am the Bread of Life. Earlier, God told Ezekiel to Eat the scroll. For too many Christians prefer to nibble at the edges, or worse, they create their own sustaining recipe with one measure of bible and many other measures of non life sustaining input included. As the Israelites ignored God’s Word, so often do we. Where that lack of attention led them – Idolatry, broken worship, and bondage – it leads us too.
… shall drink water by measure and with dread… When Jesus met the woman at Jacob’s well, he told her that He was the Living Water, and that if she would drink of Him, she would never again thirst. In conversations with people considering Christ I am often asked what pleasurable things He will require His followers to relinquish. Instead of boldly approaching the throne of Grace, many attempt to sip the water, hoping to ingest enough to be saved but at once unwilling to fully give their life to the One who gave His life for them.
It is possible to sit in church today as did many who visited the Temple in Ezekiel’s day and yet — waste away because of their iniquity… As humans, we are attracted to many forms of iniquity. We need daily …washing in the Word…
Eat the Bread of Life. Drink the Living Water. Live a life guided by peace and not anxiety and dread. Submit yourself to the authority of the Word of God. Defeat the siege of the Enemy.