What if God asked you to do something for Him and then told you no one would listen? Would you do it anyway?
I remember answering God’s call into ministry. We were excited and couldn’t wait to serve the Lord in full time service. But would we have been as excited had we known then what we know now? Or, would we have been so anxious if God had told us up front how hard it would be? That is what happened to Ezekiel.
We saw in the beginning of this lesson the vision of God Ezekiel had. Ezekiel knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he had been in the very presence of the Lord. He “fell on his face”, perhaps he incurred a few cuts and bruises in doing so. (smile) In my personal opinion I think God knew Ezekiel needed to have this personal encounter with God because of the mission God was calling him to. Let me share a little background with you so you can understand the circumstances around this calling.
God’s people had been warned repeatedly to return to Him and they continued to walk in disobedience. God told them they would go into captivity if they didn’t repent. They continued to do evil in the sight of the Lord and the Nebuchadnezzar captured them and took them back to Babylon. God’s people had hardened their hearts and were unresponsive to the things of the Lord. Unfortunately the sin of the people affected all of God’s people not just those who were guilty. Then, as today, there was a
remnant of faithful men and women and Ezekiel the young priest was among them.
God spoke to Ezekiel as he lay on his face and then told him to stand on his feet so He could talk to him. He was so awestruck that the Spirit had to set him on his feet so he could talk to God. This was God’s call to Ezekiel – “Reach the Rebels” (my interpretation). Let’s look at the actual call below.
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
8 “Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be
rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am
9 Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was
10 When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back,
and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe.
Read this passage and then answer the questions below.
What did God say about the sons of Israel?
Despite their actions God gave Ezekiel his mission, should he choose to accept it. What was it and how was he going to be received?
According to verse 5 why does God tell Ezekiel to speak to them even if they weren’t going to listen?
Besides giving Ezekiel his mission, what else does God tell him?
Does it surprise you to hear God talk about His people this way? What do you learn about God in this passage?
From what you saw in verses 8-10, what was he told to do?
Did he have a choice in the matter? Think about it.
What was written on the scroll? What kind of message was it?
If Ezekiel accepted his call, he was going to need that vision to keep him grounded in the days ahead of him. It would take something as unbelievable as God Himself speaking to him to keep him strong and courageous in carrying out God’s plans for his life.
Wow!!! What a mission for a young priest! My guess is that Ezekiel never imagined how hard his first ministry assignment would be. Ezekiel has a choice to make, to accept this mission or be rebellious like the rest of the nation. What will he choose?
What would you do if God called you to go to a rebellious people and tell them “Thus says the Lord”, would you go? Now before you go getting all spiritual on me, think about it. Don’t simply give the “Sunday School” answer. The days are short and it is time to get real. You don’t have to share with anyone at this time; you are alone at
your computer no one is here for you to impress.
The reality is we are called to declare God’s word. Whether others respond to it is not our responsibility – to declare it is.
You too have been called, are you willing to do the hard thing? Are you going to put your fears aside and take courage to answer the call that has been given to you? Don’t answer too quickly, in fact mull it over for a bit and stay tuned to see what the message is that God wants delivered and how Ezekiel is to prepare to give it.