Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ezekiel 1-3: Go! Speak!

From Garden to City reading:  Ezekiel 1-3

I can't even imagine what Ezekiel was thinking when he saw the windstorm and the fie and the four living creatures with different heads coming toward him, directed by the Spirit.  I think I would run in fear, terrified for my life.  But Ezekiel keeps watching.  He observes the visual details, the movement, and the sounds.

And then a voice comes from above the creatures, and he sees a throne of sapphire and a figure like a man, but in glowing metal.  Ezekiel describes the scene saying that the radiance around him was "Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day."  (1:28)

And when he saw this, it was like the glory of the Lord, and he fell on his face.  As an aside, Isaiah and John both fall on their faces too.

But the Lord instructs Ezekiel to get up and then sends him on a mission to Israel.
And I love that the Lord hasn't abandoned Israel, but sends someone to speak truth to them.

You remember Ninevah?  God sends Jonah, and they really do repent and listen.

This time God isn't hopeful.  In fact, he says, speak to them, but they won't respond because they're "hardened and obstinate."

And then he says to Ezekiel, "But don't be afraid of them . . ."

And that's all very lovely and historical, but the next instructions from God to Ezekiel challenge me.  He says, "When I tell you that a man will die if he doesn't repent, but you don't warn him, I will hold you accountable for his blood."  (2:18)

Yeah.  We're not responsible for the response, but when God gives us words, we must go and we must speak.  Without fear.

Jesus' last words to his disciples were to "go."  (Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:18-20)
Those instructions are for us too.
And we must speak the words God gives us to speak.

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