Tag: individual responsibility
Scripture reading for August 27th: 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)
This plan of God was put into effect and Ezekiel warned them faithfully but the people complained that God was unjust in his dealing with them. (Ezekiel 33:17) God was accused by the people He warned but it was the people who were guilty of injustice! I have found this to be true often in counseling others. What they accuse others of, they are often guilty of themselves. They were under the bondage of sin and blinded to the truth that could make them free if they only would become broken and repent.
These religious people were proud of their preacher and seemed to want to hear him. God told Ezekiel that the people were talking about him in their houses. They were telling each other to come and hear the message of the prophet as if they wanted to hear. The problem was that they 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 with no heart to put it to practice? Do you listen to the preacher at church just to get a good feeling? Do you go to see if the preacher can entertain you each Sunday and get angry if he or she doesn’t quite get the job done? There is nothing new under the sun! Ezekiel was received the same way! However, he could not quit or he would be guilty of their blood! Think about that when you listen to the word of God next time!
“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)