Saturday

02 July 2011

"The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, who have ears to hear but do not hear." (vv. 1-2)

Background

Despite all Ezekiel's prophesies, and despite his telling the visions and preaching, we still see in this passage the expectation is that nothing is going to change. They won't listen and won't respond.

Yet, the Lord does not let Ezekiel give up. There is still a chance and so now he is to engage in drama, a re-enactment of the exile or a foretelling of another exile to come. Either way it is another attempt to convince the people and their leaders to listen.

How frustrating it must have been to be Ezekiel, to receive these powerful visions, to share them and to act out all that God gives and yet not see a response. But one thing is very clear: God does not give up easily and keeps getting Ezekiel to try again.

As Christians we believe that God continues to try to reach rebellious people, including us, and that he did this in the ultimate way through his son, Jesus, and by reaching out through the power of the Holy Spirit today.

Perhaps there is a challenge for us in the way Ezekiel demonstrates God's patience and persistence in reaching out to rebellious people. Do our patience and persistence need challenging? Or maybe we need to hear that God does not easily give up on us?

Another reminder that we might need to hear today is in the variety of ways that Ezekiel is called to challenge the people. Visions, preaching, symbolic acts, drama: every form of media and communication is used. How do we use drama and re-enactment today? And how closely tied into the whole way we live our lives is the message God has given us?

We should also not forget the centrality and consistency of the message Ezekiel is delivering. God may be patient, persistent and creative but the message was consistent. Is there a key consistent message Ezekiel would tell us today?

To Ponder

How do you relate to the idea of God as patient and persistent with you?

In what ways do you hear God's message for you? Which ways are most effective at getting you to respond? Why?

How might God be challenging you to deliver messages in terms of content, form and style?

Bible notes author: The Revd Dave Warnock

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