November 17, 2021
Scripture: “And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 2:5-6 ESV
Observation: Like Isaiah and Jeremiah’s commissioning to prophetic ministry, the Lord commands Ezekiel to faithfully proclaim his words of warning and looming consequences to Israel. In particular, for this young prophet, there is a tone of man-up: ‘And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you”‘ (verse 1). Then, similar to Isaiah and Jeremiah, the Spirit of God enters into Ezekiel and empowers him to rise to the task: “And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me” (verse 2).
Takeaway: At some point in our lives, the Lord will call us to confront others about their ungodly behavior. Verses 5-6 remind us that those who resist our correction will still know they have heard the Truth (“that a prophet has been among them”). So how should we manage their response? God’s advice to us is the same as that of his counsel to Ezekiel: Do not be afraid of them nor their words or disapproving looks. In other words, keep perspective. No one enjoys having their sins exposed. When we enter into the fray of the battle, we will do well to remember that we are following in Jesus’ footsteps (he more often encountered resistance). And remember that the Holy Spirit, who is in us, will provoke our thoughts and give us the words to speak (Luke 12:12). So regardless of their response, rest assured the outcome is the Lord’s.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your Holy Spirit who strengthens and guides us when we confront others who have strayed from the Truth. Would you please help us to maintain perspective regarding their reaction and trust you with the outcome? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling