Monday, November 3, 2008

Preachers and Prophets

Ezekiel had a rough assignment.
(Ezekiel 2:3) And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.
In the ten verses of chapter two "rebellious" is the description of Ezekiel's audience five times. According to God they have historically rebelled and transgressed against Him. He calls them impudent and stubborn children.

Every preacher dreams of people responding in a positive way to the preaching of the word of God. But it doesn't take long to learn that a warm handshake and a congratulatory "Great sermon!" at the door of the church does not imply obedience to the message preached.

It is worse than that. People are rebels against God. They want to do what they want to do and they don't want anybody (including God) cramping their style. People have an amazing ability to dismiss any teaching of Scripture if it is contrary to their own feelings and they resent being hearing the truth.

God warns people to listen to those who preach the word of God to them.
(Hebrews 13:7) Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
AND
(Hebrews 13:17) Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
But, instead of obeying the word of God, people resent hearing the truth. God has to encourage Ezekiel to hang in there.
(Ezekiel 2:6) “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house.

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