Posts Tagged ‘Ezekiel’

How to Avoid Being Rebellious

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.  And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein… So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.

Ezekiel 2:8-9, 3:2

I love this passage and the message that it has for us.  In Ezekiel chapter 2, the Lord is sending Ezekiel to preach to the children of Israel.  He tells him that they are rebellious and stiff hearted people.  He tells them that they will reject his message.  Then we get to verse 8.

There, the Lord tells Ezekiel to not be like those rebellious children of Israel to whom he is going to preach.  That in itself is an important lesson for us.  We are in the world, but we are not of the world.  We are going to be around sin and rebellion, just as Ezekiel was.  But we are not supposed to take part in that sin and rebellion.

Then the Lord gives Ezekiel the recipe to avoid sin and rebellion: “open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee… a roll of a book was therein… so I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.”  Let’s get this straight.  To help him avoid sin and rebellion, God wants Ezekiel to “eat” something.  That somethings turns out to be a book.  So God wants Ezekiel to eat a book.  And that is going to help him keep from sinning.  Hmmm.  How can we make an application to our lives with this? 

If we want to avoid sin, we need to eat all of the Bible that we can.  Eat it for breakfast, chew on it throughout the day.  Eat it for a snack, eat it for lunch, eat it for supper.  If we want to avoid rebellion, we need to stay in the book!

Be Not Afraid of Them

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.  And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

Ezekiel 2:6-7

I found it interesting that the Lord would specifically tell the prophet Ezekiel to “be not afraid of them.”  I thought of all the things that Ezekiel went through and thought it strange that the Lord would tell him to “be not afraid of them.”  Ezekiel served the Lord- the creator of the universe.  Then it occurred to me: I serve the same God that Ezekiel did.  And how often have I been “afraid of them?” 

The Lord tells Ezekiel what he is up against.  He warns him that “briars and thorns be with thee,” and that he would “dwell among scorpions.”  He was told to not be afraid of their words nor be dismayed at their looks.  We deal with the same types of things, on a lesser scale, of course.  We may deal with harsh words and looks that range from scorn to bewilderment.  But we are not to fear.

After telling him to not be afraid of them, the Lord gives Ezekiel (and us) his marching orders in the next verse.  “…thou shalt speak my words unto them…”  That was Ezekiel’s mission and that is our mission.  Speak His words unto them.  Who is “them?”  Everyone.  There is no “wrong” person to whom we can speak about the Lord.  Go and tell.  That is the mission that the Lord has given every one of us.  And, just to give us a little warning and encouragement, He tells us to not be afraid of their words or looks.

Like Ezekiel, let us do what the Lord has given us to do!

It’s Up To You

For they are impudent children and stiffhearted.  I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.  And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

Ezekiel 2:4-5

I have heard a preacher say before that we are “told to sow the seed, not test the soil.”  I think that statement goes right along with these verses.  In fact, the Lord told Ezekiel that the people to whom He was sending him were rebellious and stiffhearted.  Ezekiel didn’t need to “test the soil.”  As far as the soil analogue is concerned, Ezekiel was going to a desert wasteland.  He knew it and the God who sent him to that “desert wasteland” knew it.  But still he was commanded to go and to preach to them.  I like what the reason that the Lord gives for sending him in verse 5:

“whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear… yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.”

There are some important lessons for us in these verses and in God’s instructions to Ezekiel.  Here are a few:

1. It’s our job to tell people about the Lord.  God didn’t tell Ezekiel what his “results” would be and He doesn’t tell us either.  He gives us a job to do and we are supposed to do it.

2. It’s not up to us whether the people accept our message or reject it.  “Whether they hear, or whether they forbear…”  Our job is to tell others about Him.  From there, it is between the Holy Spirit and that person.  If they accept Him, that is a wonderful thing.  If they reject Him, that is between them and God. 

3. People around us should know that “there hath been a prophet among us.”  Whether people accept Jesus or not, they should have no doubt about where we stand on the issue.  Not every one will accept the message that you give them, but they will be forced to think about that message. 

I’m sure there are many more things we could take out of this passage, but that will give us enough to think about for today!

Rebellious and Stiffhearted

And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.  For they are impudent children and stiffhearted.  I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 2:3-4

These verses might not encourage most people.  But I suppose that I am not most people.  In these verses, the Lord tells Ezekiel that He is sending him to preach to the children of Israel.  He then goes on and tells him that the children of Israel are a “tough case.”  They are “rebellious,” they have “transgressed,” they are “impudent,” and they are “stiffhearted.”  While I am not a preacher, I can imagine that those kinds of people are not the easiest to preach to.  I’m sure that was not an encouraging message for Ezekiel, but here is where I find encouragement:

In spite of these people being hard hearted, stiffnecked, and rebellious, God still sent His messenger to them.  Despite all of their sin and transgression against Him, He had not forgotten them.  He was preparing to judge them, yet still He loved them and wanted them to return.  He still sent His man to give them the message, even though He knew what their response would be.

The Lord knew that they would not return to Him.  He knew that they would reject Ezekiel as their fathers and grandfathers had rejected the prophets sent to them.  Yet still He sent His man to them with His message.  There are many today who He knows will reject Him.  Yet He still sends someone to tell them.  He still commands us to tell others of His love.  He still wants us to preach His name.  He knows who will accept Him and who will reject Him, but still He sends His offer to all.  What a merciful God!

I Fell Upon My Face

And the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about.  This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  And when I saw it, I fell  upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.  And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

Ezekiel 1:28-2:1

As soon as I finished writing the other day about the end of the book of Lamentations, I came across this verse.  I wrote the other day about the people saying “woe unto us, that we have sinned.” (Lamentations 5:16)  I mentioned a few men in the Bible who had the same attitude when confronted with the glory, majesty and holiness of the Lord.  The men I mentioned were Job, Isaiah and John.  Then I hit this verse and find the prophet Ezekiel doing the exact same thing.

Notice that this verse doesn’t actually say that Ezekiel saw the Lord.  It says that he saw “appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.”  He just saw something that looked like the glory of the Lord.  If that alone was enough to put him on his face, how much more powerful will it be when we actually see the Lord?  That is an interesting, though somewhat terrifying thought.

These were “good men.”  They definitely weren’t what we would consider to be “wicked sinners.”  They were holy men; prophets and John was the “beloved disciple.”  But still, when confronted with the holiness and majesty of the Lord, they all fell on their faces and acknowledged their weakness and sinfulness.  If those holy men of God took that attitude, how much more should we “fall on our faces before Him?” 

I think it would do a lot of us a lot of good to fall on faces (literally or figuratively) and confess to the Lord just how weak and sinful we are.  The positive aspect of all of this is that, in each case, the Lord then lifted the man up.  The Bible tells us that if we will fall humble ourselves, He will exalt us.  Maybe it’s time to fall on our faces before Him.