Growing up Catholic (my story is at the bottom), I was never encouraged to read the Bible. Not at all. Sure, we had catechism class with “Bible stories”, and it was twisted with what the Roman Catholic Church wanted us to learn to keep us enslaved to religion. It’s just plain sad.
Now, I can’t get enough of it! I take it in, I digest it, I study it thoroughly. I embrace it, I love it, and I love sharing it. It has changed my life. I’m stronger in my faith — “steadfast”. I’m honored to be a Watchman on the Wall. That’s what God called Ezekiel to be. Here we’ll see what a calling from God looks like. Let’s dig in…
Ezekiel 2 – Ezekiel’s Call and Commission
“Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.” 2 The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words. 3 “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day. 4 They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ 5 And whether they listen or refuse to listen—for remember, they are rebels—at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.
6 “Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. 7 You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! 8 Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.”
9 Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me. It held a scroll, 10 which he unrolled. And I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.Ezekiel 2 NLT
- God calls Ezekiel “Son of Man”, which simply means “human”. In the NLT version, it’s found 92 times in the Book of Ezekiel.
- You’re probably thinking, “I’ve heard that in the New Testament, too.” And you’re right. Jesus called Himself “Son of Man”. It’s found 92 time in the NLT version of the Gospels. This was to show that He was fully Human as well as Divine.
- God tells him that he must go and spread God’s Message to the Jews. Even though they will rebel, they won’t listen to him, and they will reject him and God’s message.
- He’s not to be afraid. Keep warning people, keep telling the truth and spreading the Word no matter what.
The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. 3 “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 Then he said, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. 5 I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. 6 No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! 7 But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. 8 But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. 9 I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.”
10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!) 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living beings as they brushed against each other and the rumbling of their wheels beneath them.
14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong. 15 Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I was overwhelmed and sat among them for seven days.
A Watchman for Israel
16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.
20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”
22 Then the Lord took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” 23 So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the Lord, just as I had seen in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down on the ground.
24 Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.Ezekiel 3 NLT
Consume God’s Word!
We need to consume God’s Word! Savor it, digest it, apply it to our lives. Pastor Sandy Adams comments…
He liked God’s Word. It was sweet to his taste. This is the key to understanding the Bible… It’s been said, “Man’s knowledge must be understood to be loved, but God’s knowledge must be loved to be understood.” When you love God and really want to know Him, that’s when the Scripture begins to open up to you….
In Revelation 10 the Apostle John also ate the scroll. He said, “It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.”
It was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his belly. As John considered God’s kingdom it excited him. How sweet! When God rules the world, life will taste sweet. But when John began to digest the implications of God’s kingdom on the world around him, it left him with a bitter taste. There would be people he loved, who because of their sin and rebellion – without Christ they’ll burn in Hell. This
gives John a real case of heartburn! This is why the Bible’s message can be described as “sweet and sour.” It thrills us to realize the blessings that are ours in Christ. But it chills us to realize the judgments that are coming on those apart from Christ.
Also pay close attention to this concept of eating and digesting the Word of God. Remember what Jeremiah said (15:16), “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart…” Jeremiah had scarfed up the Scriptures.
The other day we took the grandkids [to lunch], and I watched my grandsons do what their parents did. They licked the ketchup off the french fries, without eating the fries. And this is what a lot of people do with God’s Word. They like the sweet, but not the meat! The Bible deserves more than a casual reading – a superficial treatment. We need to bite into it, chew it up, mull it over and over, savor it, digest it’s message!Sandy Adams
Savor the Buffet!
That’s why I don’t recommend “devotionals” — those short tidbits of scripture along with a paragraph or 2 on a specific topic. Don’t get me wrong, they are better than not reading the Bible at all. However, it’s like eating a snack-sized bag of chips when you could have an all-you-can-eat buffet! God’s Word is Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul. Eat it up!
He Humbled Himself, then was Lifted Up
He fell faced down in humility before the awesome and mighty voice of God. Then the Holy Spirit lifted him up! Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what Peter tells us to do…
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.1 Peter 5:6 NLT
It’s in God’s time that He will lift you up in honor. When you surrender and submit your WHOLE LIFE to Jesus, that’s exactly what He’ll do with you. He’ll lift you up, give you a calling — a mission — something to do for the Kingdom. It’s then up to you to keep reading and STUDYING the Bible, connect with other born-again Christians, and do what God wants YOU to do.
Believers Get Called. Are YOU Listening?!
Just like Ezekiel listened carefully to God’s Words, we, as believers must do the same thing. Let God speak to you through His Word. Open your heart and your mind to take it all in. Don’t be stubborn and stiff-necked like the Jews were. And it wasn’t only in Ezekiel’s day, Jesus’ faced the same problem! Jesus said this 8 times in the Gospels and 8 times in the Book of Revelation…
15 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!Matthew 11:15 NLT
People will be “hard-hearted and stubborn”
Is that you? Are you like the Jews or are you like the way God want’s Ezekiel to be in verse 7? Sandy Adams explains…
In essence, God tells Ezekiel he needs to be just as hard-headed as the Jews. I believe there is such a thing as “sanctified stubbornness”. Not all stubbornness is a sin or detrimental. The right stubbornness can be beneficial. It’s good to be stubborn for what’s right. There’s a biblical word you can translate “sanctified
stubbornness.” We don’t use it much any more, but it’s a great word… “steadfast.” Be consistent. Be faithful. Stubbornly hold on to what’s right. Be steadfast!
Jesus told us all in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation…” Expect it! If you live for Him you’ll be an enemy of this world. You’ll be resisted and rejected. That means if you’re going to live for God, you can’t be easily swayed. You need some godly stubbornness.
In 1905 the University of Bern in Germany turned down a PhD dissertation as irrelevant and fanciful. It was by a young student named, Albert Einstein. Einstein had to learn early in life to reject the rejection!
In 1894 a teacher in Harrow, England wrote on a 16 year old’s report card the comment, “a conspicuous lack of success.” That student was named, Winston Churchill – who had to learn to reject the rejection.
If you’re going to live the Christian life you also must learn to reject the rejection. Keep your eyes on God and don’t be intimidated by the looks and laughs of others.Sandy Adams
The Watch-People on the Wall
I am a watchman or “watch-woman” on the wall. It’s up to me to spread the Good News of the True Salvation of Jesus Christ. Likewise, to warn people that we are living in the End Times and the Last Days. We are seeing the Birth Pangs that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24, Luke 17 and 21 and Mark 13. If I did not, I’d be shirking my duty. I’d be going against my calling. I share the Word and the Good News along with dozens of Bible Prophecy preachers and teachers.
It’s up to the recipient of the message to take it to heart. To grasp it, embrace it, and run with it. I did my job, now it’s time to do yours…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
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