Whether They Hear Or Refuse to Hear

I’ve been working my way through the book of Ezekiel. In the opening chapters of this powerful prophetic book the young Ezekiel is sitting by the Chebar Canal when he receives a vision of the Lord in His glory. This is one of those visions in scripture that is almost impossible to fully imagine what Ezekiel tries to describe as he recounts what he saw. Heavenly creatures and Heavenly objects, gleaming metal, the sound of Earthquakes. It’s clearly other worldly. And yet it’s been recorded for our memory and our knowledge.

Ezekiel is told he’ll need to play the role of the prophet and deliver a message to the Jewish exiles living in Babylon. Virtually no prophet had it easy, perhaps that’s part of the reason why Jonah ran from the calling. People don’t generally like prophets because the prophet speaks clearly and truthfully. The prophetic role literally requires as a prerequisite a refusal to get caught up in settling for half-truths, or softening the truth. The prophet speaks God’s Word boldly and clearly for all to hear.

While not every Christian has the spiritual gift of prophecy, every Christian is called to serve as a type of prophet. Every Christian carries God’s Word with us in our heart. That is why James says:

JAMES 1:21 (ESV) — 21 THEREFORE PUT AWAY ALL FILTHINESS AND RAMPANT WICKEDNESS AND RECEIVE WITH MEEKNESS THE IMPLANTED WORD, WHICH IS ABLE TO SAVE YOUR SOULS.

The Word of God has been implanted in us for a purpose. The Christian experiences the joy of living on this side of the cross, where the Word of God is not just spoken through a prophet but indwelt in our very bodies. But with that blessing comes the prophetic responsibility to have a voice of clarity. This does not mean brash untactful truth, as if truth were a hammer meant to swing and to break. Rather, bearing truth means carrying with loving tenderness the very words of God meant to transform souls. Ezekiel reminds us not everyone will listen, but oh what joy for those who do.

Written by Raef Chenery

I'm a pastor in Chicago at Park Community Church - South Loop. I'm a husband to my beautiful wife Sara and a dad to three sweet girls, Ruth, Joy, and Mira. I'm blessed to be surrounded by a number of men and women who love to think about the ways that our faith interacts with our culture. This blog is as much for me to get my thoughts in order, as it is for those who might benefit from it and engage in the conversations as well. I would love to get your feedback through the comments on each post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: