From Ezekiel 1-4
Ezekiel, a prophet and priest, was exiled to Babylon in 597 B.C. His ministry extended over at least twenty-three years. The book opens with his first dramatic vision of the “likeness” of the Lord himself. Ezekiel was keenly aware of God’s presence and power in human affairs. He addressed both the exiles and the people left in Judah with messages of warning and judgment, predicting the fall of Jerusalem. After Jerusalem’s fall (in 586), Ezekiel prophesied hope and reassurance for the people of Judah, who had then lost the focus of God’s covenant, the temple in Jerusalem. His vision of the valley of dry bones (ch. 37) is a classic picture of God’s ability to renew his people. (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.)
I suspect its easy to dream of ministry thinking its all shining lights. That most will receive your words, listen and take notice. Ezekiel’s ministry will not be like that. He is told upfront, some will hear, others will refuse to hear. Calling Israel a rebellious house suggests Ezekiel will mostly be speaking to those who refuse to hear. Speaking words of lamentation, mourning and woe. Do you think service of the LORD to be an easy thing?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
The initial few chapters really sound very similar to Jeremiah’s call. We should be expecting a similar amount of judgement in Ezekiel as well. The LORD first gives Ezekiel a vision. Then speaks to him, Ezekiel hears the word of the LORD.
2 And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” 2 And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. 4 The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5 And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 7 And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.
8 “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” 9 And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe. (Eze 2.1-10)
I suspect its easy to dream of ministry thinking its all shining lights. That most will receive your words, listen and take notice. Ezekiel’s ministry will not be like that. He is told upfront, some will hear, others will refuse to hear. Calling Israel a rebellious house suggests Ezekiel will mostly be speaking to those who refuse to hear. Speaking words of lamentation, mourning and woe.
Ministry can be like this today as well. Its generally not an easy ride. Those who wish to serve the LORD will be persecuted for it.
Story of Israel
There is hope in Ezekiel. The LORD will give prophecies of a brighter future. Stay tuned. For now we have been reminded that the respective punishments of Israel and Judah will not last forever. They will return.
Story of Jesus
Ezekiel is called the ‘son of man’ by the LORD. Designating his humanity. Jesus also adopts the same title in some places carrying the same meaning. Jesus the son of man, fully human, the son of God, fully God, will fulfill Ezekiel’s prophecies.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights