Reporting For Duty – Ezekiel 1-5

Ezekiel, whose name means “God strengthens, was a priest who, along with his fellow Jewish captives, lived in exile by the river Chebar. He was called to prophecy after receiving visions from God. Ezekiel saw the heavens opened and the divine glory of the Lord shining so brilliantly, that when Ezekiel saw it he fell on his face in awe and worship. (vs. 1:28)

God had a message to deliver, and Ezekiel was chosen for the job. “Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against me.” “I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God’.” (vs. 2:3,4)

God commissioned Ezekiel to be a watchman on the wall for the house of Israel. To blow a trumpet of warning to an unrepentant people about the danger of the Lord’s impending judgement. And the same commission He gives to us. In Mark 16:15 Jesus commands, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” As God’s watchmen we are to sound the alarm, warning an unrepentant world about the danger of rejecting God’s gift of salvation, choosing instead to live in rebellion and disobedience.

The task appointed to Ezekiel wasn’t an easy one. He was to share prophecies of destruction to an already suffering people. And not only was he to preach an unpopular message, God asked Ezekiel to go to extreme lengths to deliver it. Including writing the word Jerusalem on a brick and setting up a mock war against that brick to represent the upcoming siege of the city. Ezekiel then laid on the ground on his left side for 390 days. One day for each year of the iniquity of Israel. Then he flipped over to his right side for 40 days. This represented the 40 years of Judah’s iniquity. Whatever God commanded him to do to get His message across, Ezekiel did so faithfully and obediently.

The task God appoints to us isn’t an easy one either. The message He wants delivered isn’t any more popular or well received today then it was in ancient times. But even so, we are to walk in obedience to the Lord. Even knowing beforehand that the house of Israel wouldn’t listen to or heed his warnings, Ezekiel still did all that God asked him to do and spoke every word God placed on his lips. Ezekiel’s job, as is ours, was to obey and leave the results and the consequences to the Lord.

But Ezekiel wasn’t going it alone. Because he was obedient to God, the hand of the Lord was upon the prophet; strengthening him for the job at hand. “Behold I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house.” (vs. 3:8-9) God gives strength to all who obey Him, and never commands us to do anything without giving us the ability to accomplish His will.

In our roles as watchmen, we are charged with climbing the walls of society and shouting God’s message to all who will hear. A message not only of judgement, but one of love and salvation. So how about you? Are you willing to be God’s watchman on the wall; at your post sounding God’s warning to the world? Are you ready, able, and reporting for duty?

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