Finding STRENGTH in ‘GOD ALONE’ to OBEY His WILL
August 26 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 1-3
"And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." (Ezek. 2:6-8)
Ezekiel (meaning "strengthened by God") was one of the Jews taken to Babylonia with the second group of captives, eleven years before Jerusalem was destroyed. He ministered to his fellow-exiles immediately before and during the first twenty-some years of the captivity. They falsely expected to return to Jerusalem, so Ezekiel taught them that they must first return to the Lord!
God told Ezekiel his task was to declare God’s word to a “rebellious nation.” Whether they responded was their own responsibility. But when the events announced by Ezekiel finally took place, the people would “know that a prophet” had been in their midst. “Be not afraid” is spoken three times to Ezekiel to encourage him to fulfill God’s mission (v. 6). Ezekiel needed this encouragement because the task ahead was difficult and dangerous. Ezekiel was to communicate God’s word to a rebellious nation without fear.
As a prophet from the Lord, it was God’s message that Ezekiel was to proclaim. The people will respond negatively and perhaps even threaten him with harm, but he shall speak faithfully and not be discouraged. This is the context of what God had commanded Ezekiel:
- Ezekiel’s message was only to consist of what God had commanded;
- Ezekiel was to declare all what God had commanded
- Ezekiel was not to be dismayed by the negative responses of the people
- Ezekiel's confidence was based upon God’s promise to protect him.
- Ezekiel was promised opposition but he was also promised victory by the hand of God.
In the similar manner, we also have been mandated to speak an unpopular message (the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ) to all the people in our world (Matt. 28:19-20). This message is unpopular, and we will be jeered, sidelined and even threatened for declaring the truth of God’s Word. We will be labeled as radical and opposed from all angles. At that time, let us remember that we can find strength in God and His Word alone to do His will every day.