Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

John Piper Never Ceases to Amaze.

I have learned much from the great ministry of John Piper.  He is a man who has encountered the glory of God in Christ, and he has made it his life’s mission to share that glory with others.  One of his lesser-known talents is his amazing poetry.

Ezekiel 24:15-27 is a breathtaking, heart-wrenching passage of Scripture.  The message that God gives to Ezekiel in this passage is that the temple in Jerusalem, the “delight of [the Israelites’] eyes” was about to be destroyed.  And they were not to mourn over the loss of the temple. 

The prophet Hosea married a “wife of whoredom” and had “children of whoredom” in order to be a living example of the spiritual adultery of Israel, and Hosea’s faithfulness in the face of his wife’s unfaithfulness was an example of the amazing love that our covenant-keeping God has for His covenant-breaking people.

Similarly, the prophet Ezekiel and his wife were to portray what God was doing with His people.  Just as God was going to destroy the “delight of [His people’s] eyes,” the temple, and commanded them not to mourn, so God told Ezekiel that He was going to take the “delight of [Ezekiel’s] eyes.”  And Ezekiel was not to mourn when God struck down his wife.

This is a tough passage of Scripture to come to grips with.  I think it safe to assume that Ezekiel was a sinner, for a number of reasons.  But we are not told that God took his wife as a punishment for his sins.  The Scriptures only tell us that God told Ezekiel that He was going to take his wife from Him.  And when the people ask Ezekiel what this means, after he has shared the prophecy with them and it has come to pass, he explains that the loss of his wife was a sign for the promised destruction of the temple.  The second part of verse 24 tells us why God has done this: “When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord GOD.”

Also notice the way his wife is described.  We don’t know much about her.  But God calls her the “delight of [his] eyes.”

Regardless of the distortion of God that you and I have in our minds, this is the God of the Bible.  And He took Ezekiel’s beloved wife. 

So, when I read the poem called “Ezekiel’s Wife,” which John Piper read for advent at his church about three weeks before my first birthday, tears came to my eyes.  He isn’t exactly faithful to the text with his poetry.  By that I mean that he tells us things that may or may not have happened.  However, he does faithfully portray the God of the Bible.

Please read this poem, and may it touch your heart and mind and soul as it has mine.

God took the delight of Ezekiel’s eyes, his beloved wife, and destroyed the delight of the Israelites’ eyes, Jerusalem and its temple, so that they would know that He is the Lord God.  What must He do so that you and I will know that He is the Lord God?


July 12, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’ve been all over the DG website, but had never read that one. Thanks so much for bringing attention to it.

    Comment by jakeporter | July 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] John Piper wrote and read four poems that tell the story of Job.  Well, maybe.  As I said in my post on his poem “Ezekiel’s Wife,” Piper takes some literary freedom with the actual […]

    Pingback by “The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God” « Eyes That See | July 22, 2008 | Reply

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