THE GREAT DISRUPTER
Lord, help me to listen when You speak.
Read Ezekiel 2:1—3:15
Ezekiel’s Call to Be a Prophet
2 He said to me, “Son of man,[a] stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” 2 As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
3 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. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 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. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 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.”
9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.
3 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.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
3 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.
4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6 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. 7 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. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 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.”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 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.”
12 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.[b] 13 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. 14 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. 15 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.
a Ezekiel 2:1 The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here and throughout Ezekiel because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.
b Ezekiel 3:12 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text sound—may the glory of the Lord be praised from his place
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink about this passage and God’s dramatic preparation of Ezekiel for the mission ahead.
God’s “out-of-the-blue” claim on Ezekiel’s life was crystal clear: “Speak my words faithfully and leave the rest to me.”
God’s claim was total. There was no timetable of all the dates and times for speaking. God pulled Ezekiel into total readiness, vigilant listening and whole-life, everyday openness to God’s Word.
The claim was liberating. Ezekiel was not going to be held responsible for how people responded. This was not going to be a “results-based ministry.”
Simultaneously God set boundaries and accountability: be obedient to me. Don’t be like the people you’ll be speaking to. Don’t rebel.
In one sense, the claim that God laid on Ezekiel is laid on all of us. Our obedience, our ultimate responsibilities, and our everyday openness to his Word are the same. But the life-changing intensity of that scary call is not common in our lives, as it had not been in Ezekiel’s until that day. Even so, don’t for one moment assume that the Great Disrupter couldn’t seize your life in a new way. God can unpredictably grip us, constraining us deeply as he fills us with his life-stretching mission, turning our neatly ordered lives upside down. He is God.
When God calls, he prepares us for the task ahead. Is there a mission for which God is preparing you? Is there a “God-disruption” on its way?
Lord, may I be a faithful and obedient follower and servant of Christ.