What You Do and Say
Lord God, may Your Word work in me to keep me from sin so I can live to please You.
Read EZEKIEL 4:1-8
 “Now, son of man, take a clay tablet, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it.  Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it.  Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.  “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.  I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the house of Israel.  “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.  Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her.  I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the purpose of these acted out “signs”?
Ezekiel is asked by the Lord to perform prophetic mimes in these passages in order to communicate with the people. Each begins with, “Now, son of man,” underscoring the humanity and earthiness of what is to follow. This is no fantasized, spiritualized experience. It is a clear message from God in history coming through a man who is willing to put words into action.
Ezekiel is told to draw on a clay tablet the siege of Jerusalem and then perform it. Only after this action is he to speak words of prophecy. Later he is to shave his head and beard, using his hair for the performance, demonstrating with fire and wind the scattering and destruction to come. Again it is only after action that Ezekiel is to preach with words.
Having used words as the primary means of communication on many occasions, it is clear that here the Lord is reinforcing the message with prophetic action. Ezekiel is literally to live out the message for all to see. It is not a denial of verbal proclamation at all but a tremendous challenge for us today to both speak and act for God.
Think about an action that you could take today that would underscore the message that you believe and talk about.
Lord, I pray to live a life of both speech and actions, both of which are consistent with Your will.
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