Ezekiel 2: You Want Me to Eat…What?

READ and LISTEN

What I am about to READ

The account of the call of Ezekiel to the prophetic ministry

MARK and LEARN

  • God calls Ezekiel “Son of Man” exclusively in this book.  He calls him by no other name.  It can also be translated “son of Adam”.
  • Verses 2 emphasizes that the Spirit came by hearing the word of God.  Ezekiel sandwiches the phrase “the Spirit entered into me” between two statements that he is hearing God’s word.  See also Romans 10:17.
  • God sends the prophet to his own rebellious people to call them to repentance and faith in his promises. He does not promise Ezekiel success but alludes to the fact that many will refuse to hear what he has to say.  Though Ezekiel say “thus says the Lord” there will be those who will not listen.  Similarly, though God in these latter days has spoken to us by his Son, there were and are those who fail to listen to his word.  What Jesus preaches through his word, through the mouths of his pastors is often unpopular with the mind and heart of sinful man.  Like stubborn Israel, they refuse to hear.
  • God comforts(?) Ezekiel by stripping away any notion that everyone will hear him.  “Be not afraid of their words, not be dismayed by their look, for they are a rebellious house.” God gives Ezekiel the truth as to what will happen during his ministry.
  • “Open your mouth and eat what I give to you” God has Ezekiel eat a scroll in chapter 3.  The scroll is called “Lamentation and Mourning and Woe”, the basic content of the preaching of Ezekiel.  The calling of Ezekiel therefore is one of faithfulness to what he gives him to say, represented by the scroll.  Ezekiel is not free to preach that which he wishes, but only that which God has given.
  • Israel had violated the commandments of God. They had violated especially the fourth commandment to honor father, mother, and other authorities, such as the preaching office.  Many would not hear God’s word and so they would not repent, and thus would not receive the gospel promises either.  But God sent forth his word through the prophet to call them to repentance and faith.

MEDITATE

Consider how God calls you to repentance now.  He does not send prophets as he had in the old covenant, but he does send pastors to proclaim law and gospel to you through preaching.  Do you hear them?  Why or why not? The preaching office of both covenants had as their goal to bring one to faith in Jesus and thus be saved.  Thus we should honor God by not despising “preaching and his word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.” (Small Catechism- Explanation to Third Commandment).

Pax,

Pr. Ross

Faith Ev. Lutheran Church

Johnstown, Colorado

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