"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. 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 2:4-5
It is no secret that God calls His people to do hard things. After all, Jesus Himself said in Matthew 16:24 that anyone who wanted to follow Him must "take up [their] cross." Clearly, Jesus does not promise an easy life for His followers, and even before the time of the New Testament, followers of God were called to face hardship and were sometimes given difficult assignments, much like the prophet Ezekiel.
God gave Ezekiel a difficult assignment that many of us would have dreaded. God asked him to prophesy against the Israelites for their sin and rebellion. Make no mistake, my friends, this was a difficult assignment. The Israelites were rebellious and discouraged because they were exiled out of their home to Babylon as a punishment for their sins. Ezekiel was also one of the only prophets during this time to boldly call the Israelites out for their sin. Not to mention, he was asked to do some really strange things to share God's message with Israel like lay on his side for 390 days and shave his head with a sword and scatter the hair that was cut off. If I had been Ezekiel, I am sure I would have said at some point, "I did not sign up for this!" I probably would have made that statement as I was laying on my side for 390 days!
Despite the difficulty and strangeness of God's command to Ezekiel, the prophet remained faithful to God. He obeyed. What about you? Is God currently asking you do something difficult that you simply do not want to do? Maybe He is asking you to tell someone a hard truth and you are worried how they will accept it. Maybe God is asking you to share your faith with someone you know who might not respond well. Maybe He is asking you to take a step back in your career in order to honor Him. Whatever He is calling you to do, will you, with the courage of Ezekiel, step out in obedience and obey Him?
We know that the Christian life is not guaranteed to be easy. In fact, it may often be difficult, and God may call you to do some really hard things. What difficult thing is God calling you to do? In your notes below write down that difficult thing that God is calling you to do. Decide today to follow God and, in obedience, do that thing this week. Find someone you trust and ask them to hold you accountable to obey God this week.
Read Ezekiel 2:1-10 (NLT)
“Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.” 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. They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ 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.
“Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.”
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.
©2022 Sagebrush Church