Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
There's a particular sort of toughness involved in Christian ministry. Yes, we're supposed to be gentle as doves, people who are committed to doing good, not harm. But that doesn't mean the Christian, especially the person in some form of leadership, like a pastor or, in Ezekiel's case, a prophet, is some sort of wish-washy, vacillating people-pleaser.
In our passage today, Ezekiel is given a message - a scroll of God's words that he is to eat. He is then sent to Israel, God's people. And God warns him that they are tough customers.
Ezekiel 3:6 explains that guiding Israel is not going to be hard work because of foreign languages or customs. Those are not a problem for Ezekiel. And God says that if Ezekiel did go to a foreign nation, they would listen to him.
On the contrary, Israel doesn't listen to God and won't be listening to Ezekiel either. Verse seven says they "have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart" (ESV). So God is making Ezekiel hard headed too. He is to speak to them fearlessly.
How can Ezekiel do this? He has taken in God's words. He knows they are good, powerful, and trustworthy. What should Ezekiel fear? Nothing at all.
Christian work often requires a tough attitude. People say and do hurtful things. But God's Word is sure. We have nothing to fear.
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