The idiom “your goose is cooked” means is it is time to pay the consequences of our actions. We use it to describe someone who has manipulated, bullied, harassed others into submission until the “tables are turned” and their “goose is cooked.”
Israel’s goose is cooked. The pot is ready for the fire. But cleanup is worse than anticipated because the stain and filth has blackened the pot. It is too far gone and cannot be used again. (I have pots like that, don’t you?) They are getting exactly what they have dished out for ages because of turning from God and all that is good to evil beyond our wildest thinking.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better! But guess what?! We are half way through the book of Ezekiel the prophet of God! I checked to see how far we have come in this book that is filled with bizarre visions and puzzling revelations! Are you intimidated yet but all we have read and learned? Don’t be, we aren’t finished. God is not finished with His people! Let’s keep digging beneath the surface because God is leading us to even more timeless lessons about Him and our relationship with Him. We are learning:
- He’d rather forgive us than judge us.
- He remains faithful even if we don’t.
- He can use anything—even something bad—to accomplish his greater good.
Ezekiel wrote this book to the Israelites living in exile. They needed to know that the God of Israel was still God even in pagan Babylon. Ezekiel warned the people that their idolatry would be judged. Later, after Jerusalem’s destruction, he wrote to encourage them that God would bring them back to Judah and Jerusalem. –And God did exactly as He said. And He’s doing it again!
Ezekiel 24, The Message
Bring the Pot to a Boil
1-5 The Message of God came to me in the ninth year, the tenth month, and the tenth day of the month: “Son of man, write down this date. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. Tell this company of rebels a story:
“‘Put on the soup pot.
Fill it with water.
Put chunks of meat into it,
all the choice pieces—loin and brisket.
Pick out the best soup bones
from the best of the sheep in the flock.
Pile wood beneath the pot.
Bring it to a boil
and cook the soup.
6 “‘God, the Master, says:
“‘Doom to the city of murder,
to the pot thick with scum,
thick with a filth that can’t be scoured.
Empty the pot piece by piece;
don’t bother who gets what.
7-8 “‘The blood from murders
has stained the whole city;
Blood runs bold on the street stones,
with no one bothering to wash it off—
Blood out in the open to public view
to provoke my wrath,
to trigger my vengeance.
9-12 “‘Therefore, this is what God, the Master, says:
“‘Doom to the city of murder!
I, too, will pile on the wood.
Stack the wood high,
light the match,
Cook the meat, spice it well, pour out the broth,
and then burn the bones.
Then I’ll set the empty pot on the coals
and heat it red-hot so the bronze glows,
So the germs are killed
and the corruption is burned off.
But it’s hopeless. It’s too far gone.
The filth is too thick.
13-14 “‘Your encrusted filth is your filthy sex. I wanted to clean you up, but you wouldn’t let me. I’ll make no more attempts at cleaning you up until my anger quiets down. I, God, have said it, and I’ll do it. I’m not holding back. I’ve run out of compassion. I’m not changing my mind. You’re getting exactly what’s coming to you. Decree of God, the Master.’”
15-17 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, I’m about to take from you the delight of your life—a real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. Keep your grief to yourself. No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work—none of the usual funeral rituals.”
18 I preached to the people in the morning. That evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I’d been told.
19 The people came to me, saying, “Tell us why you’re acting like this. What does it mean, anyway?”
20-21 So I told them, “God’s Word came to me, saying, ‘Tell the family of Israel, This is what God, the Master, says: I will desecrate my Sanctuary, your proud impregnable fort, the delight of your life, your heart’s desire. The children you left behind will be killed.
22-24 “‘Then you’ll do exactly as I’ve done. You’ll perform none of the usual funeral rituals. You’ll get dressed as usual and go about your work. No tears. But your sins will eat away at you from within and you’ll groan among yourselves. Ezekiel will be your example. The way he did it is the way you’ll do it.
“‘When this happens you’ll recognize that I am God, the Master.’”
25-27 “And you, son of man: The day I take away the people’s refuge, their great joy, the delight of their life, what they’ve most longed for, along with all their children—on that very day a survivor will arrive and tell you what happened to the city. You’ll break your silence and start talking again, talking to the survivor. Again, you’ll be an example for them. And they’ll recognize that I am God.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
As we ponder about what we will do even today along with who we will listen to for guidance, let us “reverse engineer” and think of the outcomes first. What might happen if I do this or that? We question our kids’ thinking all the time, however, we ask after the “thing” has been done with consequences to pay. We admonished them with, “What WERE you thinking?” Sometimes, I think God asks, but then He already knows, doesn’t He?
God called Judah “rebels” not only because they had broken His laws and violated His covenant, but also because Zedekiah had broken His treaty with Babylon, incurring the displeasure of Nebuchadnezzar. What were they thinking? Jerusalem was an evil city, filled with sin like a filthy pot encrusted with rust and scum. Jerusalem had shed innocent blood and hadn’t even been decent enough to cover the blood. The murderers had left the evidence for everyone to see and didn’t worry about the consequences. What were they thinking?
“Today our society lives on delusions and myths because, like the Jews in Ezekiel’s day, the world won’t accept the authority of God’s Word. People still believe that might makes right, that money is the measure of worth and success, and that the aim of life is to have fun and do what we want to do. We can believe whatever we please about God, ourselves, and others, and life will turn out fine because no consequences exist. But one day God will expose the stupidity of these delusions, and the world will discover too late that what we believe and how we behave have consequences.” –Warren Wiersbe
What are we thinking?
The focus of Ezekiel’s ministry will now shift in subsequent chapters. He had exposed the nation’s sins and announced her judgment. God will now give him His plans for the Gentile nations, including victorious Babylon. Ezekiel will minister hope to the Jewish exiles and share with them visions of the kingdom yet to come. Ezekiel has been a faithful servant of God, even to the point of sacrificing his beloved wife so he could declare the Word of God. What an example of dedication! Well done, Ezekiel, well done!
May we hear your voice above all other voices and follow you with the same love and devotion of your servants who have gone before us with examples of holy obedience.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen