“Put on a pot, set it on,
And also pour water into it.
4 Gather pieces of meat in it,
Every good piece,
The thigh and the shoulder.
Fill it with choice cuts;
5 Take the choice of the flock.
Also pile fuel bones under it,
Make it boil well,
And let the cuts simmer in it.”
– Ezekiel 24: 3 – 5
The children of Israel are depicted as pieces of meat that are placed in a pot (Jerusalem) filled with water in the 24th chapter of the book of Ezekiel. In this passage of scripture, God calls the children of Israel choice meat because he specifically chose them and set them apart – like we are upon salvation. Now, the purpose of immersing or baptizing the meat (His people) in water is so that it could clean away all the filthiness of the meat. To accomplish full cleansing, the meat was not only immersed fully in water but the fire of the Holy Spirit was also kindled so that all the unsavory parts of the meat – the stinking thinking, bad habits, and unprofitable ways of the people – would be washed out as scum.
Light-bulb moment: God does not leave us alone after our initial cleansing (salvation) but burns away all unsavory parts of our character through the fire of the Holy Spirit (fire) so that we are conformed to the image of Christ.
Yet, the scriptures tell us that God was not pleased with His people for the scum which He had removed from within them was still present with them (Ezekiel 24:6). God said to them: ‘I have cleansed you, but you were not cleansed’ – Ezekiel 24:13.
Today, the image of the meat immersed in a scum filled pot symbolizes the believer who has been cleansed of all filthiness through confession (see 1 John 1:9) but has refused to change his/her mind or turn away from the scum of the past. It is a symbol of a person who has acknowledged (confessed) their sin but has not repented (turned away) from it.
To truly turn away (repent) from our sins, we must read and meditate on the word of God, for only it has the power to renew our minds and transform the way we think (Romans 12:2). Given enough time studying, we find that we no longer find comfort in the scum that was once embedded deep within us and was so familiar to us. Given enough time, we begin to naturally desire to separate ourselves from all the filth around us. Normally this means breaking some associations and doing away with some things in our lives.
We have to make sure our mind and body (the exterior of the meat) do not interact with scum despite the truth that our spirit (our interior which is sealed by the Holy Spirit) can no longer be touched by scum once it is burned out from within us. Why? It is because the result of interacting with scum is uncleanliness, and the end of living an unclean life is mountains of trouble. Here is what God has to say to the meat that refuses to be cleansed:
I will not hold back, nor will I spare, nor will I relent; According to your ways and according to your deeds, they will judge you,” says the Lord God – Ezekiel 24:14
Notice that the scripture above says that it is our ways and deeds that judge us (when we do not turn away). The reason behind this is because all judgment has already been poured out on Jesus, hence the only reason we experience judgment (different from trials) is that we refuse to walk with Jesus as our Lord.
Food for Thought: Jesus is your Savior, but have you truly surrendered to Him as your master?