3 And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. 4 The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5 And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.Ezekiel 2:3-5
Several years ago, I was ticketed for driving solo in the HOV lane in Nashville, Tennessee. I wasn’t in the lane for very long, and it sure didn’t seem like a big deal. But when I studied the traffic ticket, to my surprise it said that I was required to appear in traffic court! There was no wiggle room. The law said I must go, so I went.
Our justice system assumes that we will show proper respect to the governing authorities. I obey the law because of the respect I have for the lawgiver. I answer the summons because of the authority of the judge.
Ezekiel Jeremiah, and Isaiah all begin with divine confirmations of the prophet’s call. Unlike Isaiah and Jeremiah, however; who warned of the coming exile, Ezekiel was still warning a rebellious nation who was already in exile.
God sent the prophet Ezekiel to Israel, a “rebellious nation.” Ezekiel was under no illusion that the people would automatically listen to his message. In fact, God found six different ways to describe the people as rebellious in just three verses (Ezekiel 2:3-5):
- They are a nation of rebels
- They have rebelled against God
- They have transgressed against God
- So have their fathers
- Their descendants are impudent and stubborn
- They are a rebellious house
Like Jeremiah before him and Isaiah before Jeremiah, God summoned Ezekiel to deliver a message both of them knew Israel would reject. Perhaps that is why, like Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Lord gave Ezekiel such an awe-inspiring vision of Himself on His throne. Knowing the people would probably question Ezekiel’s authority, God wanted to make sure Ezekiel would have no question about God’s authority.
What about you? When the Lord gives you instructions, do you obey without question? Perhaps all of us need a renewed vision of God on His throne from time to time. He has the authority. We need to answer His summons.
Father, when you call, help me to answer.