Scripture reading for August 25th: Ezekiel 33-36
God had made Ezekiel a watchman on the wall of a nation to warn them of coming judgment and disaster because of sin. Ezekiel must warn the people clearly or he would be responsible for their blood. (Ezekiel 33:7-9) After he warned them, they would be responsible. You might say that Ezekiel was a prophet of individual responsibility. Each person was to become responsible for the word from God that was delivered to them. What they did with it determined their destiny. God did not want any man to perish so He sent Ezekiel to warn them that they might be saved! (Ezekiel 33:11)
Ezekiel warned them faithfully but the people complained that God was unjust in his dealing with them. (Ezekiel 33:17) Often I have found this to be true in counseling others. What they accuse others of, they are often guilty of themselves. They were blinded to the truth and blamed God to avoid responsibility.
God told Ezekiel that the people were talking about him in their houses. They told each other to come and hear the message of the prophet. They seemed to desire the word, but did not want to put any of his message into practice! Their hearts were greedy for gain and they were selfish and unchanged after hearing. They viewed his messages as entertainment, such as a beautiful love song or a concert. (Ezekiel 33:30-32)
How are you receiving the word of God today? Do you read your Bible for entertainment? Do you expect the preacher to entertain you each Sunday and get angry if he or she doesn’t quite make you feel good? Ezekiel was received the same way but he knew he could not quit or he would be guilty of their blood!
“If you warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.” (Ezekiel 33:9)
“And if I say to the wicked man, ‘you will surely die’; but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right–if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die.” (Ezekiel 33:14-15)