Change of direction
God, help me hear from You in these Scriptures and respond to Your Spirit.
Read Ezekiel 2:1--3:15
 He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.”  As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.  He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day.  The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’  And whether they listen or fail to listen-for they are a rebellious people-they will know that a prophet has been among them.  And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.  You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.  But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”  Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll,  which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.  And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.”  So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.  Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.  He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.  You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel-  not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you.  But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate.  But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are.  I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”  And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you.  Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.”  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy did Ezekiel react as he did?
All was not lost. God has many alternative plans for our lives even when we are dead set on Plan A. But Plan B turned out to be just right for Ezekiel, with a clear call from God, a personal commissioning, a message for him to deliver and reassuring words to help him in those periods of doubt and inadequacy which often accompany a new ministry. From now on Ezekiel was a prophet of the Lord. Why do you think he “went in bitterness and in the anger of. . . spirit” (3:14)? Was it because of disappointment? Or because of the readjustments that would be needed? Saul of Tarsus took necessary time off when he had to “recover” from his vision on the Damascus Road (see Acts 9:9). Major changes cannot be rushed. This was a new boy learning a new job, and Ezekiel took his time. Note the seven days when he did nothing but sit, “deeply distressed” (3:15). It does not surprise me at all, and I am sure he was all the better for it.
Consider that God may not be calling you to do something different, but to do what you are doing differently.
Lord, I want to come to You with sincerity of heart and hear whatever it is You have to speak to me.
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