5-12-24: Watch What You Eat!

You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Ezekiel 2:7-8

God finishes giving His instructions to His prophet for His very first
assignment. It is a message we all must hear and heed.

You shall speak God gives acommand to His servant. He must
open his mouth – there is no option. My words to them Second God makes it clear Ezekiel is to give God’s word to the people. This is what matters – not man’s opinion or objections or even their hopes but the truth of the word of God.
Whether they hear or whether they refuse God then focuses on the reaction to Ezekiel’s ministry. He may be successful (they hear) or he may not (they refuse to hear). A lot of God’s servants are concerned with success today – big churches, big ministries, big budgets, What does God say about this? He makes it clear
this is not Ezekiel’s responsibility. God will emphasize this point again to his servant in Ezekiel 33. “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” Ezekiel’s job is to do what God asks of him – be faithful. The reaction to the words he presents belong to God.
For they are rebellious God reminds Ezekiel of the audience he will face. The first time the word rebellious is used is in Numbers where it is linked to the people grumbling against God. In Deuteronomy it is linked with stubbornness, in I Samuel it is linked with idolatry and in Proverbs with seeking evil. It is not good.
But you, son of man God looks into the heart of His prophet and gives him personal counsel. This will be a hard task – there is a danger, a snare, that Satan will use to try and derail God’s servant. So God speaks as a loving Father to tell His prophet how to prepare for the backlash he will receive.
Hear what I say to you The first thing God tells Ezekiel is to listen to Him. The word here is first used in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve “heard the voice of the Lord”. There will be much noise and clamor aroud Ezekiel. Ezekiel’s antenna is to be attuned to God. Don’t listen to the world’s wisdom or objections. Only God’s voice is to be heeded.
Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house second God warns Ezekiel of the pressure he will face. He will be exposed to the rebellion
of hard hearted Israel. They despise God and His authority over them. They will fight and argue with him but there is something worse he must guard against. He will be under pressure to conform to their ways and thinking – to become rebellious with them. It will be a slow acclimatizing process they use to squeeze him into their mold. God gives a second command. First he told Ezekiel don’t fear them, now God tells Ezekiel do not become like them. It will be easy to become lukewarm and then cold to the ways of God. This is a constant battle Ezekiel will fight every day of his ministry. Don’t think this cannot happen. Remember the Apostle Paul made the statement, “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world”. Satan doesn’t care if we love the world or fear it as long as it keeps us from obeying God..
Open your mouth and eat what I give you How can we do what God has commanded us? How can we live in a world filled with sin and not become sinful? How can we live in a world that is headed for the damnation of hell and not get the smell of smoke on our clothes? God’s way is not unique to one person. God told Jeremiah the same thing. “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth'”. It is the same instruction the Lord gives to you or me to tell us how to be faithful to Him in the wicked age we live. If we feast on what
the world offers us, we will fail. God provides His strength to His servants. That is how He sustains us and keeps us on His path as we serve Him among those who hate Him.