“Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh in silence, make no mourning for the dead; bind your turban on your head, and put your sandals on your feet; do not cover your lips, and do not eat man’s bread of sorrow’ ” (Ezekiel 24:15-17).
In what might seem a cruel turn of events, God speaks to the prophet about a tragedy that is to come to him personally: the “desire of your eyes,” his wife, will die; and it will be an action taken by God.
Ezekiel’s wife is most precious to him, and the normal response to her death would be to grieve deeply. God’s says he cannot do so. He must not dress in a way to indicate he is in mourning and he can’t “eat man’s bread of sorrow,” that is, grieve as people normally do.
This action comes, of course, with a purpose. It is through the prophet’s tragic experience that the Jews are to learn what their behavior is to be. In the past, God has tried in varied ways to woo the Israelites into submission. All efforts, however, have, failed.
Now it is too late—too late for weeping and lamenting—too late for them to avoid the impending destruction. They must now reap the consequences of their disobedient behavior. Jerusalem will be destroyed.