Year 3 Day 45
Read - Ezekiel 3:22-27
Message - Alan Burke
Ezekiel has been called by God, he is to be a watchman to the people, his task is to rouse them from their slumber, he is to warn the wicked and the righteous and those who heed the warning they will surely live (21). Now what we are told as the Lord spoke to Ezekiel is really quite striking. First in v24, Ezekiel is to shut himself inside his house, then v 25 he is told that ‘they’ will tie him so that he cannot go out, and finally 26-27 we are told that the Lord will make him mute, only when the Lord opens his mouth will Ezekiel be able to speak.
Think of what the Lord had tasked Ezekiel with, he is to proclaim the coming judgement of God, but he’s to shut himself away, and the people they are going to bind him, and the Lord’s going to make him mute, like what on earth is going on? After all normally the prophets send by God moved among the people and they spoke the word of God into the situation. And here we are told this, Ezekiel isn’t to go out, and such is the opposition against him and the word of the Lord the people will bind him so that he cannot go out, and such is the judgement of God against the people, this rebellious people who so do not want to hear the message that the bind the messenger that the Lord God will make Ezekiel mute, he will not be able to speak unless the Lord enables him to speak.
This is a rebellious people who have rejected the Lord and will reject his word, reject his prophet. The people themselves tried to keep Ezekiel from telling the word of God to the people, and as a result God stops him from being a mediator. A mediator, one who attempts to opposing parties or groups into some kind of agreement. Instead Ezekiel’s tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth like a prisoner, he would be unable to bring this sinful people before God, he was unable to be their mediator, to intercede for the people, to speak on their behalf. His silence lasted between six and a half to seven and a half years until Jerusalem would fall. Ezekiel cannot go where he wishes or speak to whom he wishes, he cannot speak anymore than the Lord allows him to speak, he is the watchman of the Lord warning the impending judgement but he is unable to advert it, to stand in the breech being the peoples mediator.
As the passage closes, the Sovereign LORD tells Ezekiel, “Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.” (27). Jesus in the gospels says, punctuated many of his parables with the words ‘he who has ears let him hear’ (Mk 4:9,23, 716, Mt 13:9). Both here in Ezekiel and there in the gospels the point is that we are invited to hear, to listen, to response, but the Lord will not force us to respond to his word. Whoever will listen, is to listen and whoever refuses to listen will not listen. Ezekiel had no more power to change the peoples hearts in his day that we have, the Lord only requires that we take his word faithful to the people, some times that will involve rebuking, correcting, confronting what violates his word and what he commands. The church is to be like a watchman, warning the people of what awaits those who do not respond to his word.
Q47 What is forbidden in the first commandment?
The first commandment forbiddeth the denying, (Ps. 14:1) or not worshipping and glorifying the true God as God, (Rom. 1:21) and our God; (Ps. 81:10–11) and the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to him alone. (Rom. 1:25–26)