In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. 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. “ ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘Woe to the city of bloodshed, to the pot now encrusted, whose deposit will not go away! Take the meat out piece by piece in whatever order it comes. “ ‘For the blood she shed is in her midst: She poured it on the bare rock; she did not pour it on the ground, where the dust would cover it. To stir up wrath and take revenge I put her blood on the bare rock, so that it would not be covered. – Ezekiel 24:1-8
This passage continues the harsh rebuke that God has asked Ezekiel to share with Israel. This time it comes in the form of a parable about cooking meat in an encrusted pot.
“A deposit that will not go away”, what an interesting turn of phrase, especially as a water scientist and chemist.
The technical term for this type of deposit is “scale”, and it is the bane of many a homeowner and water plant operator. It occurs when water passing through pipes, or cooked in pots, experiences changes in water chemistry or temperature which causes ions in the water to combine to form mineral precipitates (scale). Water with abundant ions which results in mineral deposits, is often referred to as hard water.
So to bring this back to the passage and what God is trying to communicate here – He is saying that the people of Israel are like an “encrusted pot”. They have become ineffective at the the purpose for which they were designed. Not only are they ineffective, but they seem to be using the gifts, skills, and resources (the meat in the pot) for something other than what God intended for them. Specifically, shedding blood and fighting battles that were not theirs to fight.
This passage is convicting on many levels. In what ways am I encrusted and ineffective at what God has planned for me? Am I using my gifts, resources, and skills to accomplish what God needs me to do or am I mostly doing what I want to do? Am I fighting battles that I should allow God to fight? All very good questions to ask, although I am not sure I am ready to answer some of them.
Prayer: God help me to see ways that I have become encrusted and ineffective at accomplishing your plans.