Last week the full glory of God was on display in the first chapter of Ezekiel. God met the man that He would rise up as a prophet where he was, down by the river. When he saw God’s glory, Ezekiel prostrated himself and worshiped the Lord. In this week’s chapter, God sends Ezekiel on his mission to bring the Israelites back to Him. It is a short chapter, but I believe there is still something we can get out of these 10 verses.
Once Ezekiel saw the fire and lightning, that is the glory of God, he fell on his face. God told him to stand up. “A wind came into me as he spoke to me. It stood me on my feet and I listened to him speaking to me” (Ezekiel 2:2, Goldingay). The word translated “wind” in this verse is רוּחַ (ru-ah). This word is used many times throughout the Bible and is translated as “wind,” “spirit,” or “breath.” This word can take us back to Genesis where we read, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NASB). In this passage of Ezekiel, Ezekiel is recieving the purpose of his life. God is breathing into him His spirit of life, just like the intimate act described in creation. The Spirit then stood Ezekiel up so he could hear what God was telling him; he was being sent to the Israelites.
“The indwelling Spirit shall teach him what is of God and what is not. This is why sometime we can conjure up no logical reason for opposing a certain teaching, yet in the very depth of our being arises a resistance.”
— Watchman Nee
Many of the prophets express a sense of fear over the mission that God has given them. God looks to Ezekiel and says to him, “So you, young man, don’t be afraid of them and don’t be afraid of their words, when thistles and thorns are with you and you’re living with scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words, don’t shatter because of them, because they’re a rebelious household” (Ezekiel 2:6, Goldingay). God is telling Ezekiel about the opposition he will face when he goes to speak to the Israelites. They have been a people that have rebelled against God, and will likely not take his words to kindly. Ezekiel’s mission is to “speak [God’s] words to them” (Ezekiel 2:7, Goldingay). The Isrealites will not listen, but it is Ezekiel’s job to speak anyway. The final request at the end of this chapter is for Ezekiel to consume a scroll full of laments (presumably about the people of Israel). This is Ezekiel becoming embodied with his mission and the very Word of God.
“The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers but rather urges us faithfully to proclam God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit. This will build God’s church God’s way.”
— Jim Cymbala
I believe that this call of God to Ezekiel is the same call that is presented to us as the Church. This world is, by nature, in contrast to God. Though it was created by Him, as still holds symbols of His power and grace, it was broken and turned away from Him y the introduction of sin. The hearts of people are far too quick to run away from God, when all He wants to do is show His love. We, the Church, must stand and speak to these rebellious people about the God that they are trying to run away from. He is not angry or vengeful. He is not a god who only seeks to punish. He is not some old man in the sky, watching the history happen without intervening. The very foundation of our faith is that God loves us and wants to save us from our punishment by entering into the world He created to make a path for us. The world likes to claim many things about God, but I have often found that it is usually the opposite that is true. We may look foolish or get attacked for our faith, but it is our duty to God to stand up and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever heard people claiming things about God you knew were untrue, but did not have the ability, or knowledge, to correct them? This happens to me, and countless other Christians I know, all the time. Unfortunately there is no magic pill of infinite wisdom. It takes a lot of work to be prepared and able to speak God’s Word. In Ezekiel, he consumes it. Do you consume Scripture? NO, you do not have to actually eat your Bible. But do you read it, write in it, research it, and study it? If the answer is no, maybe it is time. You never know what God may put in your life that you can influence for His glory. Personally, I love to read what people are saying. That is why I started providing a monthly book review for you to consider, and I even have a list of books that I have read and would recommend. If you have a story you would like to share, please leave a comment. See you next week!