I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.
Today, I am reading and commenting on Ezekiel 1-4.
There is great meaning in Ezekiel’s description of the four living beings as well as the rest of his vision, but it rarely inspires me. I know that many people have made great sermons out of it. I have even heard a few which made me want to dig into it and see the inspiring message there. Even then I am inspired while I listen to the preacher, but when I go back to see it for myself, I usually miss it. However, I am always inspired when I read about Ezekiel’s commission. God first tells Ezekiel that he must go to his own people, who will not listen to him. God was not sending him to people who spoke a language which Ezekiel did not understand. God tells him that if that was the case, they would listen to him. No, God was sending Ezekiel to his own people. God repeats that they will not listen because they are obstinate and hard-hearted. However, God tells Ezekiel that He had made him just as obstinate and hard-hearted. Every time I read this I know why I was not called to go to a foreign mission field. God has made me obstinate and hard-hearted. In His instructions to Ezekiel, God made a point which we need to take to heart, especially if we have been called to minister to the obstinate. Before we take God’s message to our designated audience we need to let His words seep down into our hearts. We need to fully internalize them so that they drive our behavior. It is only once God’s words have truly become part of us, have become a touchstone by which we lead our lives, that we are ready to speak them to the obstinate people to whom we have been called.
As part of His commission to Ezekiel, God called him a watchman. I do not believe that all of us have been called to be hard-hearted and obstinate, but I do believe that we have all been called to be watchmen. When God gives us a message to people it is up to us to deliver it promptly. It is not our responsibility if they fail to listen to the message. It is only our responsibility if we fail to deliver the message. If we fail to deliver God’s message, God will hold us responsible. If we deliver the message, but they fail to respond, we will have saved ourselves. Obviously the best case will be if we deliver God’s message and the people to whom we were sent listen to it and respond to it. That will be cause for rejoicing. But we are only responsible for delivering God’s message, not for what people do with it.