“For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. 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. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.” – Ezekiel 3:5-9
Has God ever sent you to minister to, or to deliver a word to someone that you knew would not receive what God told you to say? This is something that God does to me quite often and early on in my walk of faith I didn’t understand why. I mean, God is all knowing right? Why would He send me to give a word that He knows the recipient will not receive and will only cause their pride and anger to be stirred against me? Doesn’t seem very effective does it? Well, God’s ways are not our ways for sure, but God’s ways are always better.
I love the picture that our opening passage paints. God tells Ezekiel that He knows He is sending Him to a people that won’t listen. He even tells Ezekiel, in essence, “they are hardheaded and hardhearted, so I will make you more hardheaded then they are. You will lock horns (so to speak), stand your ground, and deliver this Word, and they will not like you for it at all.” I love this description because it is all so familiar to me. I can assure you that Ezekiel did not want to have to deliver this word, verse 14 tells us that he went in bitterness but the hand of The Lord was strong upon him. He was likely scared and disheartened by the whole thing, yet Ezekiel knew that God had a reason, and a plan, and he knew that God knows best.
You see many times God sends us signs, words, and warnings of correction knowing full well we will not heed them, though He would wish that we would. That we might avoid many hardships and years wasted wondering in wildernesses of our own design. However, in His great wisdom He knows that even if you don’t listen, His wisdom, mercy, love, compassion, and power, will show through in the end when God’s Words and Warnings prove true. You see, I learned a long time ago that pride keeps many from receiving correction, guidance, and instruction from God. So God has to break that pride in a way that shows His wisdom, and loving intents, while showing your lack of understanding and foolish trust in yourself. You see, most people know that they can trust God, but they still have to learn that they can not trust themselves.
It’s all about breaking pride. God often sends us to warn others knowing that they will not listen, not so that we can say “I told you so” when things play out the way we said they would, but rather, so that God can say, “I told you so, and I cared enough to try to stop you. Even when you didn’t want to hear from Me, I sent someone anyway.” And that is a very humbling thing… So speak what God tells you, no matter how you feel it will be received. God doesn’t speak for no reason, He has a purpose, He has a plan. Trust His wisdom, He knows best.
Read All Of Ezekiel Chapter 3