Ezekiel 2:1-7 – “Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!” 2 As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me. 3 Then He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 4 “I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ 5 “As for them, whether they listen or not — for they are a rebellious house — they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 “And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. 7 “But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.” NASB
I have discovered times in my life when the LORD instructed me to deliver a message that I knew would not be well received by my audience. It was not a message of pleasantries or platitudes, but a challenge from the Spirit of God over a condition or a call to action. God called Ezekiel, and his assignment was not enviable for anyone who wants peace and has even a smidgen of love in their hearts for people.
God told Ezekiel that He was sending him to a rebellious, stubborn, and obstinate people. Does that sound like an assignment you’d relish being given? Not me! I know what it is like to stand in the middle of the proverbial stream and everyone wanting to go with the current and the Spirit of God having me declare, “NO! Not that way, this way.” Going against the current is not easy and will meet much resistance and opposition, but if God says that is what God wants, the prize is not downstream but up.
Then God told him, “Neither fear them nor their words…” Okay, God, I have learned from experience and reading your word that when you say Do Not Fear, there is something to fear. There is something that will potentially do harm. There is something I will face that will be difficult and might make me want to concede and go with the flow. LORD, when you so “do not fear,” my flesh says, “be afraid, be very afraid.”
If He had said, Do Not Fear, it might not be so bad, but He says, “…though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions…” What? Wait a minute God that sounds like severe persecution and physical and spiritual pain. It’s about that time, we begin to say, “Lord, I’m not qualified….” We try to pull a Moses on God and offer excuses for not fulfilling His commission. However, God will not be deterred, and we might have a Jonah experience, and our only deliverance and theirs is for us to Obey!
There is a truth in God that would behoove us to consider. If God tells us to warn people, we are responsible for giving that warning, often in tears. It is not our responsibility to make them repent. That is totally and ultimately their decision and choice. But, if we fail to warn them and sound the alarm, we become participants in their failure.
We are messengers; He is the God of the message! We convey the message, and He brings conviction to the heart. Too much of today’s church has lost the voice and office of the prophet of God declaring God’s “Thus Says the Lord.” When the Church goes silent, evil prevails, and I am praying for God’s voice to be heard in our churches again so that we might hear His still, small voice saying, “This is the way walk in it.”
God help us to return to You so that You might return to us and restore us!
Abundant Blessing is my desire and prayer for each of your lives.
Great article reminding us of the importance of being obedient to God’s call to deliver a message, even when it’s tough.
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