God tells Ezekiel that he is the watchman for the house of Israel. Ezekiel will be held accountable for speaking the Word of God and the people will be accountable for their response. However if Ezekiel knows God’s Word and does not warn the people and they die in their sins, God tells Ezekiel “his blood I will require at your hand.” Then the Lord fills Ezekiel with the Spirit so that he is equipped to handle the job of watchman.
We will find out later in the Story that we too have the same command (Luke 12). By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to share the Gospel. How people respond is on them, but what we do or don’t do with God’s Word is on us. And this really isn’t any pressure…it’s a privilege!
So the Lord tells Ezekiel to go to his home and that the people will bind him and the Lord will make him mute. But when the Lord speaks to Ezekiel, he is to open his mouth and speak to those who will hear.
God instructs Ezekiel to perform 3 symbolic acts:
1) Sketch the city of Jerusalem on a clay tablet and play siege against it like a kid would with a block toy to illustrate the coming destruction of the city.
2) Lie on his left side 390 days and his right side 40 days for the years of Israel’s and Judah’s sins. There are differing views on this one. Some say the years are for their past sins and some say for their future judgment.
3) Cook your food over human dung. 😱 Now Ezekiel does object to this one, so God says he can use cow dung instead. This is to illustrate the food shortage during the invasion and captivity by the Babylonians.
Over in Jerusalem we find out that during the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah, the Lord has Jeremiah wear a yoke to symbolize Judah’s future enslavement to Babylon. God will use Babylon to subdue all the nations and anyone who fights against them will die. Jeremiah warns the people against listening to false prophets and says to trust the Lord and summit to Babylon.
The false prophet, Hananiah, tells the people they will be released from captivity in 2 years and he yanks the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck. God rebukes this false prophet for making the people believe lies and says he will die within the year. And Hananiah dies 2 months later.
Tomorrow, God has Ezekiel perform some more strange acts in an effort to get the people’s attention. Keep reading.
(Ezekiel 3:16-4:17, Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah 51:59-64)