Boldness To Be A Speaker Of Truth

Scripture Reference:
Ezekiel 2-3

Content:
Ezekiel had just seen a glorious vision of the glory of God, bringing forth the realization of the God He served. There, God imparted to Ezekiel His messages for His people. He told Ezekiel that the people he was going to minister to "are a stubborn and hard-hearted people." (2:4) They would not accept his message because they were completely rebellious. Nevertheless, God still wanted Ezekiel to speak so the people know they had a prophet among them. The vision then ended, leaving Ezekiel overwhemled by what he received.

7 days later, God gave him a message, appointing him as a watchman for Israel. He cautioned him to warn his people immediately when a message is given to him, or the people would die in their sins and Ezekiel would be held responsible for their deaths. (3:16-22)

Interpretation:
• The opinion of God should always come first before the opinion of others.
God pre-warned Ezekiel that the people he was going to speak to were completely rebellious. He may surrounded with threats because he chose to obey God. God wanted him to know that the opinion and treatment he was going to receive from others should not stop his obedience towards God. (2:4-3:7)

Put yourself in Ezekiel's shoes. He doesn't need to second guess his hearers' opinions to God's message - He know these people will surely reject his message. He is in a tougher position than any one of us because he know his message will fall on deaf ears. For us, we may not know.

Sometimes, when God give us a message to deliver to someone, we are afraid that the other person may not accept our message. We perceived in our minds that the message is offensive, therefore we conclude that we should not say it for fear of offending them.

However, we are not to be concerned over the person's rejection to God's message - that is not our business. We should be solely concerned to do the will of God. The opinion of God should always come first before the opinion of others.

• Choose God's ways and live; choose rebellion and try to live.
"Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Don't join them in their rebellion." (2:8) There seemed to be no point for Ezekiel to speak God's message since those people no longer regarded YHWH as Lord over their lives. Ezekiel would face the choice of choosing God over joining his fellow countrymen in rebellion. Choosing God would mean being the outcast, and dealing with feelings of hurt and rejection. The temptation of following Israel's ways seemed the easier way out. Therefore, God had to exhort Ezekiel to not join the people in their rebellion.

Every person who desires to live for God will face the temptation of going back to their old lifestyle. In the past, we were once lord over our own lives. We could use our Sundays for work, sleep, friends, indulgence in immediate and sensual pleasures instead of being in church. It seemed that the old lifestyle is better since we have the freedom to do what we wanted in our own timing.

Living like this may bring happy feelings in the short run, but there will be this lingering feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. We are not living merely to wake up, eat, work, study, socialise, sleep, and repeat this cycle for the rest of our lives - there is a purpose why you and I exist. The emptiness in your heart will never be satisfied unless you sought after Jesus and fulfill the destiny God has for your life.

The choice presented before us is clear: Choose God's ways and live; choose rebellion and try to live.

• We have a responsibility to speak God's truth over our hearers' lives.
God called Ezekiel as the prophet for the hour so Israel might know that God was concerned and had their best interests at heart. The messages Ezekiel spoke on behalf of God were meant to fulfill it's intended purpose. It was in hope that Israel would repent of their rebellion and be confident in what God would do for them in the distant future. God held Ezekiel responsible of warning his countrymen of their peril should they still continue in their rebellious ways. (3:16-21)

When God calls you to speak correction over someone who has walked in a wrong path, He is giving a chance for that person to turn from their ways to Him. Not speaking His word would be akin to witholding God's call of repentance from their lives, and you will become responsible for their actions thereafter.

As we are graced with the privelege of knowing and hearing God, we have a responsiblity to speak God's truth over our hearers' lives, whether they would hear it or not.

Application:
1) When God wants you to deliver a word that you regard as offensive to another person, do you hestitate and imagine in your mind how the person might react? Thinking too much would result in fear of offending the other person, and hence not obeying God. Also, you might attempt to water down and rephrase God's message altogether so that it sounds nicer and more accepting to your hearer.

It is better to find favour with God, than find favour solely with men and lose favour with God. Aim to obey God and speak the truth always.

2) Do you sometimes feel envious when you see others living wild, 'Sundays-free-to-socialise' lives? This envious feeling that "others seem to live a better life than you" would arise because the enemy doesn't want you to live for God. Partly, it may come from your need of friendship, desire to be in control, perception of the bible as the book of many rules, etc.

A strong yearning to go back to your old lifetstyle may be a red flag, indicating that you may not have placed God as priority over your life. My encouragement to you is to align your allegiance to God, reject rebellion, understand how good God is, realise your God-given destiny, and bring your needs to God in prayer.

3) Pray that when you need to speak the truth in love, you will be bold enough to do so because you are motivated by God's love for them. Like Ezekiel, pray that you may have an "obstinate and hard-hearted heart", and "a foreheard as hard as the hardest rock" (3:8) to speak God's truth no matter what people may say.

2 comments:

  1. Curious why you used 'YHWH' but not 'G-D'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Zaf! I used YHWH because this name denotes His relationship with humans (in this case, His desire as Lord and King over Israel), and his extension of lovingkindness and mercy. G-D just means God being a Supreme Being, :D

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