Many of the prophets in the Old Testament had a tough time proclaiming the message of God.
Ezekiel was one of those prophets. Even though he spoke to “God’s people,” his messages were often rejected.
You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! Ezekiel 2:7
Ezekiel received a very difficult assignment from the Lord. God wanted him to deliver a message to His people. The problem was that they were rebellious and didn’t want to hear from the Lord.
The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words. “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. Ezekiel 2:2-3
I’ve delivered messages to people knowing they would be anything but receptive. Since I already knew their response or answer, I would just as soon have avoided it completely.
Occasionally my wife and I will hear of an activity we would be interested in doing. She, being a very inclusive person, would suggest asking our boys and their families to join us.
Many times I would say no. When she will ask why not, I would respond with “because they won’t want to do it.” Of course, she makes her own executive decision and asks them anyway.
I often asked her “why we already knew their answer.” She usually said, “I wanted to give them the opportunity to decline.”
Proclaim God’s Message Regardless
That same thought was similar to what is happening in our verse for today. God gave Ezekiel instructions to go ahead and proclaim His message.
The Lord already knew His message would fall on deaf ears. But God wanted Ezekiel to proceed anyhow, as mentioned in verse 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!’ Ezekiel 2:4
Even though these hard-hearted, stubborn people weren’t going to listen to the message of God. He didn’t want them to use ignorance as an excuse.
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. Ezekiel 2:5
God also warned Ezekiel not to act like those receiving His message. Verse 8 says the following.
Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Ezekiel 2:8
Verses 9 and 10 reveal the nature of the message God had for those rebellious people. It was not very nice.
Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me. It held a scroll, which he unrolled. And I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom. Ezekiel 2:9-10
How Do We Respond to the Message of God?
God has a way of getting His message to each of us as well. He places the responsibility on us as to how we will respond.
For those who know Christ as their Lord and Savior, His message is a positive one. Look at the words of Jesus from the Gospel of John.
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. . . My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:9-10