[The LORD] said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
What Sinners Need to Hear
Someone has said, “It’s hard to correct nations … and relatives. Nations are so distant, and relatives are so close.” When he called Ezekiel, the LORD added, “The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.” Would they listen? It was uncertain, even doubtful. God said, “They … have been in revolt against me to this very day.”
Nevertheless, Ezekiel’s assignment was, “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen … they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
“Wait a minute. I’m not a prophet! If I try to talk to my daughter about living with that man (fine fellow though he otherwise seems to be) without the benefit of marriage, she won’t listen. Or will he? I’m not a prophet!”
Was the man, Ezekiel, God’s point? Was the prophetic office God’s point, or was it the message? “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’” What sinners need to hear is “what the Sovereign LORD says.” It’s what you and I need to hear day after day.
It’s not just grandparents’ old-fashioned point of view. It is what the Sovereign LORD says. It is what the Bible says! True, the Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But now it’s not just one sinner talking to another sinner expressing his or her opinion. Sin is sin. This is what the Sovereign LORD says. Yet, the Sovereign LORD also says that when sinners repent of their sins, trusting in the saving merits of Jesus, his Son, “he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Spirit-worked faith moves sinners to listen and strive to serve the Savior. But … “whether they listen or fail to listen,” they must know, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says.”
Dear Holy Spirit, grant your blessing that day by day I learn and listen to your law and gospel with a believing heart and am willing, lovingly but firmly, to say to family, relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors (even to nations), “This is what the Sovereign LORD says.” Amen.
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