“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.”‘” (Ezekiel 2:3-4)
Once Ezekiel saw the great vision of the Lord, recounted in the first chapter of his prophecy he was ready to receive his commission. The vision gave him strength as well as the certainty that he was doing the Lord’s work. The people to whom God was sending him, the rebellious people of Judah, were stubborn and obstinate. Nevertheless, he was to proclaim to them what God told him. Although the people would not like the message, Ezekiel was not to compromise it to suit his audience. The righteous would listen and heed the Lord’s warning, repent and turn to Him. The wicked would not turn from their sins and idolatry and would be destroyed. The time for negotiation was over. Judgment was coming and there was no stopping it.
The words the Lord used to describe Judah, “a nation of rebels” is an apt epithet for our own society and culture. Our society so steeped in sin and rebellion against God is as stubborn as Judah and we, like Ezekiel, are called to preach the gospel and warn all people of the dangerous consequences of sinful lifestyles and actions. If people will not hear what we have to say, if they abuse us or persecute us, they will be held accountable for their actions. To inspire us to carry out this task we have the vision of our awesome God as seen through Ezekiel’s eyes as well as the gospel of God’s love and mercy in our crucified Lord Jesus.
Considering that the omnipotent and omniscient God is ever present with us, there should be no reason for us to fear what man will do to us or that we will not have the right words to say. Those who reject the Lord’s Word ought to be the ones who are filled with fear because through us they have met Almighty God and rejected His love. We pray that the love of God will cause them to accept His gift of grace and mercy through Jesus our Savior.