Ezekiel 5 and Psalms 42-43

In Ezekiel 5, Ezekiel is again commanded to provide a physical illustration to the exiles of what is going to happen to Jerusalem. Remembering back a few days, the exiles did not or would not believe in the judgment against Jerusalem. In this case, Ezekiel shaves off all of his hair and beard and uses portions of it to demonstrate the various aspects of the judgment against Jerusalem. Ezekiel 5:12 provides the summary of the judgment: one third will die within the city from the siege, a third will die by the sword in the final breakout, and a third will be scattered into Exile.

The pronoun “I” is repeated throughout Ezekiel 5:8-17 and emphasizes the unstoppable hand of God’s wrath. Ezekiel 5:13 says that His wrath will eventually subside and His anger will cease. God’s wrath is not fully resolved until the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. (Rom. 3:20-26).

Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 are songs for the downcast heart. The phrase, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God…” is repeated three times in Ps. 42:5, Ps. 42:11, and Ps. 43:5. It may sound simplistic, but the solution to a downcast heart or depression, is hope in God. He is the source of joy and the antidote to depression.

Another relevant phrase  in Psalms 43:3 is, “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;” When confusion and fear step into my life, it is the truth and light of the Word of God that I need most in my life. Truth dispels darkness as light does. Fear grows in the absence of truth. Fear tells me God doesn’t care and I am all alone. Truth reminds me of His promises and gives hope for His presence and love.

I close with a beloved verse in Ps. 42:1, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Just as a deer needs fresh water so my soul needs the living water from the Word of God to sustain my spiritual life.

Matthew Henry explains this verse effectively:

When he (David) was debarred from his outward opportunities of waiting on God, when he was banished to the land of Jordan, a great way off from the courts of God’s house. Note, sometimes God teaches us effectually to know the worth of mercies by the want of them, and whets our appetite for the means of grace by cutting us short in those means. We are apt to loathe that manna, when we have plenty of it, which will be very precious to us if ever we come to know the scarcity of it. 1

1 Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.