Mortal man, stand up…
Ezekiel was a prophet of God who lived during the time of the fall of Jerusalem. He lived in Babylon, finding himself there after being captured and exiled. His preaching was not popular because his audience was made up of more exiles that were looking forward to returning to home. His sermons concerned the fall of Jerusalem, telling his hearers not to expect a speedy return home, and that they should learn to live where they were.
Then I heard a voice saying, “Mortal man, stand up. I want to talk to you.” While the voice was speaking, God’s spirit entered me and raised me to my feet, and I heard the voice continue, “Mortal man, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They have rebelled and turned against me and are still rebels, just as their ancestors were. They are stubborn and do not respect me, so I am sending you to tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to them. Whether those rebels listen to you or not, they will know that a prophet has been among them. “But you, mortal man, must not be afraid of them or of anything they say. They will defy and despise you; it will be like living among scorpions. Still, don’t be afraid of those rebels or of anything they say. You will tell them whatever I tell you to say, whether they listen or not. Remember what rebels they are. “Mortal man, listen to what I tell you. Don’t be rebellious like them. ..”(Ezekiel 2:1-8a GNB)
In verse 1 to 4 God tells Ezekiel he was being called to minister to a people who were rebels, they had turned their backs on God, and they were stubborn having no respect for God. Sound familiar? What is the mental aspect of the people we deal with daily? The society we find ourselves in is filled with people who are self-centered, stubborn and have no desire to live more God centered lives. Many even appear to have no idea who God is.
God then points out in verse 5 that they may or may not listen to him but that he should carry. Our God is loving and would that no one turn away. He gives us freewill to choose Him or to turn away, but he gives us the choice. Peter writes, “The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.” (2 Peter 3:9 GNB)
Our God is fair in all His dealings. His is upfront and just. When we stand before Him on the Day of Judgment we will know that in this life we were given every opportunity to choose Him.
God strengthens and lifts him up in verse 6 by telling him not to be afraid and to carry on if they listen or not. Jesus instructed his followers when he sent them out to witness, “And if some home or town will not welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14 GNB)
God ends the section by warning him to not be like the others and rebel. In the same way Paul warned the Hebrews and us today, “As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 GNB)
Today we are called to take the light into the world. God knows that the message may not be popular. But He still expects us to stand tall follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and share the Gospel.
Copyright Roy Richard