SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2015
And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.’ (EZEK 3 V 4 – 7).
THE Lord God called Ezekiel “son of man” and in the book it occurred 93 times. That title was partly to show Ezekiel’s humanity. As a prophet, Ezekiel ministered during the same troubled times as the prophet Jeremiah. He was among the thousands of Judeans exiled to Babylon, where he probably spent the remainder of his life. About five years into exile, at the age of 30, he was called as a prophet.
Then God commanded him to speak the word fearlessly to his people regardless of whether or not they listened. He was appointed a watchman and so, should speak to warn the people of God’s punishment unless they repent. Courageous sermons, dramatic visions and symbolic actions characterised his ministry. Therefore, most of his hard messages were enacted even at his personal cost. In the midst of these, Ezekiel lost his wife and God enjoined him not to mourn for her, as a sign to Israel (Ezek 24 v 15 – 27). It is highly commendable that Ezekiel remained faithful in his ministry and spoke the Word of God courageously to a rebellious nation.
Today, we have a problem in the Church of God. Most ministers that claim to be the mouth piece of God sometimes prefer speaking the word to play safe in order not to bring personal harm to themselves or their families. This, to a large extent, has greatly given room to watering down the messages they dish out to people of God. Do you wonder then why their messages do not challenge sinners well enough, as most times they are content in their sins.
It is, therefore, a tragedy of a sort because speaking the undiluted word of God, which in actual fact should enable people to take a decision for the Lord, is gradually being watered down. We do not experience enough warning and so, the volume of evil keeps rising every day in our nation.
Speaking the mind of God is not easy but preachers and ministers should go on declaring His whole counsel. We should not think about the inconveniences that may arise or what we may likely lose in terms of material gain. But we should ensure that the truth of the gospel is exposed always. Let us be assured that we, the messengers of God should not fail Him in this assignment.
Ezekiel knew the terrain of his ministry and did not give up speaking even though the people were stubborn and rebellious. Your duty, as preacher and minister of the gospel, is to speak whether people listen or refuse just like Ezekiel was directed in the text. After all God said in His word: “the hearts of the kings are in His hands” (Prov. 21:1).
It is important for us to continue to speak the word of God undiluted. But wait a minute, how can we successfully do this?
To achieve this, we must ask ourselves how much of His word is in us. Ezekiel was asked to open his mouth and it was filled. If we must speak the word, we must be prepared to be students of the Bible. Recall Josh 1 v 8-9, 2 Tim. 2:15. No one gives what he does not have. Also, it is expedient that the God whom we are to speak about should be known to us and His Son, too.Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State