Ezekiel 3 The Watchmen
Posted by adventbiblestudy on June 21, 2015
Ezekiel 3 may be the most misquoted and abused chapter in the Bible. Authors and speakers cannot explain what the figures Ezekiel encountered represent, and they don’t want to explain their role. When we look back a few chapters, we can’t help but see how those beings from Heaven are associated with God’s throne, movement, and sound. They are figures who not only know how to listen to God’s voice and commands, but convey them.
When we get to chapter 3, Ezekiel receives commands. In the beginning of the chapter the texts shows us a message or messages are the main theme. We’re also shown how Ezekiel is sent to people who are less than cooperative. Now that the author has our attention centered on a message and communication, we see details most people miss. We see another group of people. We’re not given a lot of details. Most people read this and jump to their own conclusions to identify the group. When they stray just a little bit from the main theme, they miss the entire message.
I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. (Ezekiel 3:5-7 NLTse).
Notice how the author used a contrast in this short statement. There are people with a language Ezekiel can’t understand, but those people will listen. But the people he was sent to, Israel won’t listen, and Ezekiel is told why. There is a link between the unknown language and those hard hearts.
This is where people stray from the message given to Ezekiel and create their own doctrine out of this chapter. If you’ll notice, God gave Ezekiel a scroll to eat. That showed a close personal connection with God. The beings sent from Heaven knew exactly where to go and what to do. This was what Ezekiel had to learn and demonstrate.
We see another contrast at the end of the chapter to reinforce the main lesson. Ezekiel is tied up and can’t deliver a message. Then he is loose and sent to deliver a message. In every example the message is directly from God’s throne. But people leave that detail out when they use this chapter to get people to go out and deliver their message. Not a message from God, but their message.
God can’t reach them. They won’t listen to God, His Spirit, or anyone God sends because their hearts and minds are set on their own goals, or what they’ve been taught. Those people have never been taught to listen to beings from Heaven, or God’s voice. They only know a language foreign to God…. the language of this world, which is shown here as rebellion.
Looking back a few chapters, you can highlight key words the author repeated to see how those beings moved in a specific pattern. That pattern also showed cooperation. Compare that to the messages teachers, authors, and preachers use. Is it a message of cooperation?
Now look at that contrast mentioned earlier. Are those modern day messages more like the clear, cooperative message from God’s throne, or are they more like speaking to people in a foreign language they don’t understand?
That pattern of movement those beings followed showed us an illustration pointing to the pattern in God’s Word. We see that pattern when we take time to highlight key words. Those beings not only represent the message directly from God’s throne, but how it is to be delivered by following the pattern we’re given. We’re to follow direction and cooperate like those beings showed. Ezekiel added to that lesson at the end of this chapter when he didn’t speak for a time, then followed directions and received the right message.
Most people take a verse or two out of this chapter and make their own message out of it. They don’t follow God’s pattern and are unable to explain it. Their message should be like a foreign language to you. You should be smart enough to figure out if it is a message from God’s throne, or from a stubborn heart set in its own ways.