August 10, 2021
"I went to the exiles who were living in Tel-Aviv by the K’var River and stayed with them there in a stupefied state for seven days. After seven days the Word of the Lord came to me..."
“I went to the exiles who were living in Tel-Aviv by the K’var River and stayed with them there in a stupefied state for seven days. After seven days the Word of the Lord came to me: ‘Human being, I have appointed you to be a watchman for the house of the Lord. When you hear a Word from My mouth, you are to warn them for me. If you say to a wicked person, “You will certainly die.”; and you fail to warn him, to speak and warn the wicked person to leave his wicked way and save his life; then that wicked person will die guilty and I will hold you responsible for his death. On the other hand, if you warn the wicked person and he doesn’t turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, then he will still die guilty; but you will have saved your own life.’” Ezekiel 3:15-19
They say that everyone wants to be their own boss until they open up their own small business! The same seems to be true of followers of God. We want to obey Him until He tells us to do something that makes us feel uncomfortable. Ezekiel knew what that felt like. In response to God’s call on his life, Ezekiel nursed his anger for seven days.
And what was God’s call on Ezekiel’s life? To be the channel through which God’s Word comes to a rebellious people. The expression, “the word of the Lord came to me,” occurs fifty times in the book of Ezekiel. By this, we know that it is important to God that people walk with Him personally through His Word. As a matter of fact, Jesus was the personification of the Word of the Lord. (John 1) In essence, having a saving relationship with Jesus is to have a saving relationship with the Word-made-flesh.
Why so few professing followers of Jesus read the Bible is beyond me! If God’s Word is so important, perhaps, the question for our generation should be, “How intently do we seek the Word of the Lord?”
There comes a time when we have to stop thinking about how we feel and get on with doing what God wants us to do. God wanted Ezekiel to become a watchman. The duties of a watchman included standing on the ramparts of the city, watching for the coming of invaders, and quickly blowing a trumpet to warn the entire city of the onset of danger. Ezekiel’s commission contained a sign of God’s continued favor for His covenant people. No matter how great their sin, He would not abandon them entirely. Even in Babylonian exile, God gave Israel a “town crier” to warn them of dangers and summon them to action.
As “watchman,” Ezekiel’s task lay in two directions: to the “wicked” and the “righteous.” Under the ministry of the prophets, the people were called to true repentance and to return to God. The call to repentance focused on the covenant, which God had made with them. But the deeper message of Ezekiel’s calling was not simply to return people to the covenant of God but to return them to the God of the covenant.
These daily devotionals exist, primarily to return believers to an ongoing personal relationship with God through His Word. The hope is that people would discover what it means to really KNOW Him and that they would share Him with others.