22 February 2020

Ezekiel 33:30-33

“When this comes — and come it will! — then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (v. 33)

Psalm: Psalm 146


Since the beginning of the book that bears his name Ezekiel has faithfully shared the words God has given him. This hasn't been an easy vocation, as the words have been harsh for those that have received them. The call of a prophet is never an easy one and here in these verses we see how the people in exile view him and the oracles that he brings.

In verse 30 God tells Ezekiel that wherever the people are, God's name is never far from their lips. God is the talk of the town and the main attraction for the people as they seek to hear God's own word. This all seems like it could begin to make Ezekiel feel proud of what he has achieved, but that is not the place of the prophet. These people come to hear a word from the Lord, but they have ulterior motives. They listen to what is said, but do not do what is asked of them and their hearts are set on their own gain. In verse 32 God compares Ezekiel to a musician singing love songs to an audience but his calling is not to the life of a pop star.

There is no evidence that Ezekiel has tried to encourage this following or that he revels in the attention. The fact that God is telling him these things seems to indicate that he understands the reality of the situation and there is no call against Ezekiel. This passage is about how the people are reacting – they act like faithful disciples but their hearts are not in it.

The final verse acts as both a warning and an encouragement to Ezekiel. God reminds Ezekiel that when the prophecies come about the people will realise that the words Ezekiel brought weren't just words. Rather he was a prophet and spoke on behalf of the living God.

To Ponder:

  • How can we avoid seeing our corporate worship services becoming entertainment instead of times of transformation and change?
  • How can we continue to serve God faithfully when the world around us often does not seem to listen?

Bible notes author

The Revd David Wynd

David Wynd is a Methodist presbyter in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit. He leads Cullercoats Methodist Church and is involved in a circuit project called Network.

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