"Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a straight razor,
shaving your head and your beard. Then, using a set of balancing
scales, divide the hair into thirds. When the days of the siege are
over, take one-third of the hair and burn it inside the city. Take
another third, chop it into bits with the sword and sprinkle it around
the city. The final third you’ll throw to the wind. Then I’ll go after
them with a sword. Ezekiel 5:1-2 (TM)
It sounds really strange, doesn’t it? Think of it as God’s stage-play continuing. In Chapter 4, God had Ezekiel act out a siege against Jerusalem – complete with miniature model. Now he continues the performance with a metaphor of what’s going to happen after the siege. God asks Ezekiel to cut off his hair. Why?!
Remember, you’ve got to think about the metaphor. What does hair symbolize? Strength (remember Sampson?), splendor (Proverbs 16:31), beauty (Song of Solomon 7:5), and glory (I Cor 11:15). So, when Ezekiel is playing out his performance – cutting off his hair – he’s playing out how the siege of Jerusalem is going to "cut-off" the strength, splendor, beauty and glory of the nation. Some will be burned in the city, some will be chopped with the sword, others will be scattered to the wind.
God was desperately trying to get his children’s attention. As a parent, you sometimes go to great lengths to try and warn your children of their impending doom when you see them doing something foolish. And, as most parents will tell you, you can’t make your children listen!