August 27 (Daily reading: Ezekiel 1-4) Ezekiel expressed clearly that God is sovereign and in control over all creation. He demonstrated this by the process of cause and effect. Over sixty times, Ezekiel wrote that something had happened, or would happen (cause), so that “they will know that I am the Lord” (effect). God sent Ezekiel to them so that “they will know that a prophet has been among them” (effect) (2:5). He had been one of the more than three thousand who had been sent into exile. While there, he received his call to be a prophet “to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people” (2:3). His task was clear: “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’ … You shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not” (2:5, 7).
When God lifted Ezekiel up and took him to those who were in exile, he said: “I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord upon me” (3:14, NIV). It is not clear if he was angry with the Lord for sending him, with the people to whom he was sent, or with those who had put his people into exile. But as we saw in the case of Jeremiah, being sent as God’s spokesperson can be a difficult assignment. God’s words to Ezekiel give us insight in what it means to receive His call. “I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me” (3:16). As a watchman gives warning when the enemy approaches, we must warn people of the danger of rejecting Christ. God holds us accountable. Our message must be the same as the one God gave Ezekiel: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says” (3:27).
– Al Gary