The Warning

“Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion…”(Ezekiel 2:8)

Ezekiel’s calling is quite interesting to me.

After his vision of God, he was given precise instructions as to what he had to do. He was entrusted with a mission: to be a prophet for the people, a light-bearer in times of spiritual darkness. Next, he was empowered to do his work, as the people he would speak to were hard-hearted and would not easily accept him or the message he had. Then, he was warned not to give in to the people and join them into their rebellion. Finally, he was given the word of God to eat.

* * *

It was interesting to me to note that God warned Ezekiel not to join the rebellion. Is that even possible for someone who saw a Vision of God? If so. . .  then maybe there is more to this rebellion business than I thought at first glance.

There existed the danger that, in the face of such a terrible outlook, Ezekiel would shirk his responsibility. If he let fear get the best of him, then he would become identified with the same rebellion that the Israelites were guilty of—the same rebellion he was responsible for speaking up against. There was always that danger that he would be influenced by the apostasy around him and that he would lose notion of the real gravity of sin. There is a subtle poison in the atmosphere of a sinful society. It is difficult that a person hold on to his faith when he is among people who have no faith, especially when those same people pretend to have the same hopes and aspirations which he holds. For that same reason, the church’s greatest danger comes from within, not from without. If those who are called to be leaders are themselves “rebellious”, just as the “rebellious people”, What else can be expected but widespread godlessness? The history of the apostasy of Israel reveals the terrible result of what happens when human beings look to other human beings, and place their trust in impious leaders. [1]

* * *

There are two things to note.

  1. The rebellion was not so much an open attitude against God—a worshipping of idols, or other such outright refusals to worship him. Instead it consisted of a lifestyle that on the outside had the semblance of goodness but without making the necessary changes that consisted in total surrender to God.
  2. The spiritual leaders were in large part responsible for this. Ezekiel’s calling and the warning contained within is for us today as well. No matter what you do in life–what your vocation or job you have, you are a light for others—hence, you are a leader.

Have you accepted the call to serve God? Consider the message found in Ezekiel 2.


[1] Comentario Biblico Adventista del Septimo Día. Vol 4. (Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985) p.612 Translated from Spanish by Paula

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