In chapter twelve, Ezekiel is called to participate once more in a one person object lesson. No doubt his status and his previous prophecies caused his fellow exiles to keep their eyes on him. He is to pack his belongings. It’s not like Ezekiel packed up his household furniture on a pack mule. He likely would have a sack which he would place in view of his neighbors. Then, he would, one at a time, add important items to its contents: a skin for water, a bowl for food, and mat for sleeping. In the evening, they would watch as he picked up the bag and dug a hole through the city wall. Then, he would cover his face with a cloth and crawl through the hold with his belongings.
People did observe Ezekiel. They did ask “what are you doing?”
And God gave him their answer.
For too long the people had been bemoaning the fact that the prophets prophesied and nothing ever happened, or that the prophecies looked toward a time so far in the future that they need pay no attention. But God now says: “You will see these things happen.”
Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, is called a “prince” in this chapter. The reason is that he was not considered the king. The real king, Jehoiachin, was still alive. Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, had been appointed by the Babylonians and was not a legitimate heir. In 586 B.C., as Ezekiel foretold, Zedekiah and the rest of Jerusalem was carried captive to Babylon. Zedekiah, however, did not witness the journey. Nebuchadnezzar blinded him before the trip.
As blind as Judah seems to the sovereignty of God, she will see. And soon.