‘Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it.  Then lay siege to it: erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering-rams around it.
 ‘Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair.
God told Ezekiel to act out a series of pictures to convey his message, to appeal to the people to turn back to him, and these are the first two of these acted parables. Perhaps Ezekiel would have been amused to see us fretting today because so many of us are besieged in our own homes, and we cannot go out and get our hair cut. But it will not last for ever: in verse 13 of chapter 5 God tells them his anger will cease. God’s actions are always designed to drive us to him in humble dependence, and discover his mercy.
Thank you for your mercy, as shown in these miracles and demonstrated supremely in the events of the first Easter!