“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.” Ezekiel 3:7.
Impudent: Characterized by offensive boldness; insolent or impertinent
Insolent: 1) Presumptuous and insulting in manner or speech; arrogant. 2) Audaciously rude or disrespectful; impertinent
Do you get this? I almost didn’t believe what I was reading when I was given this scripture.
What God is saying to Ezekiel is that He is sending him to give a message of warning to the house of Israel and He already knows they are not going to listen. They are impudent and hardhearted.
Poor Ezekiel. My human spirit immediately reacted strongly. Plainly as could be I said to God, “God, why in the world would you send a man to speak a message to people that you already know don’t want to hear it?”
It’s like, “You’re God and they won’t listen to you? They sure aren’t going to listen to me!”
And God already knew they wouldn’t listen to me….. but I had to go tell them anyway.
I can imagine what Ezekiel must have been thinking. “Well this is a real howdy-do.”
I think he knew very well what the people might do to him when he told what God had said to tell them. The Church folk of that day had a bad habit of killing the prophets they didn’t want to listen to.
The very idea that I should have to tell someone something and they won’t even listen to God, shakes me! But it had to be done. Why?
I believe God is much more fair than we often think.
There is so much about Him we don’t know. In verses Ezekiel 3:18-21, He tells Ezekiel why he must undertake such a rotten job. And it is a rotten job.
We like to boast about being adopted heirs of Israel and inheriting the same promises.
We love hearing about all of the good promises, but we don’t want to hear anything negative we don’t like.
Somebody has led us to believe that reproof, rebuke, correction etc. is not edifying to the body of Christ. If you think about it, that doesn’t even make sense.
A parent corrects its child because they love it and wants to see it grow and mature. And even punishes sometimes.
They don’t just let the child do anything it wants without any kind of warning, words of caution or allow it no boundaries. God is the same way with his children.
Sometimes He has to speak words his children don’t want to hear. But what is he telling Ezekiel?
God says the righteous as well as the unrighteous must be warned before judgment is executed. He told Ezekiel that if he did not warn these people of their transgressions, their blood would be on his hands.
As far as Ezekiel’s part, it was not about whether these people heeded his words, the Word of the LORD, or not. It was about them being told.
God helped Ezekiel set his face as stone and told him not to be afraid of the people, what they said or what they looked like. God knew what this man would be facing. Impudent and hard-hearted people.
The last remark of this passage says “also, thou hast delivered thy soul.”
The things God had placed in his spirit to speak, even though they were words nobody wanted to hear, would have been spoken as he was instructed and his conscience was clear. He had done his job.
First published: August 6, 2010.
~ Robert Blackburn