Day 46: Ezekiel 3:12-21
Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing. It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days—deeply distressed.
At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
“Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
Ezekiel was a prophet of God. What do you think of when you hear the word prophet? Do you think about someone who talks about the future? Someone who is a seer or prognosticator, a fortune teller or diviner? The Biblical idea of a prophet is actually quite different. The idea of a prophet in the Bible is someone who speaks God’s truth, someone who brings the people a word from God. Most of the time it had much more to do with how people were living in the present than it did with the future.
We see this idea very clearly in the story today. Ezekiel has a vision in which God gives him a message for the people. He is instructed to point out the sins of wicked people and to warn them to turn from evil. His message is for the culture he is living in. It is a prophetic message for the present, a warning for people to turn from evil and choose righteousness. God tells Ezekiel that he will hold him responsible if he fails to deliver the message.
So who are the prophets today? Who are the people who are instructed by God to warn against evil? Who is to bring God’s truth to our present culture? In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul says we are the ones who are to “set forth the truth” to our culture and to avail people’s consciences. Followers of Christ are the watchmen and women of the kingdom. We are the ones who will be held responsible for not speaking out against evil and encouraging righteousness. We are ones who are to speak God’s truth to our culture. If we don’t, who will?
Justin Lewis | Facilities Director/Young Adult Pastor