Ezekiel – It takes all kinds
“But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.” Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself…” Ezekiel 3:8-10
While Jeremiah stayed in what was left of Jerusalem, Ezekiel, Daniel and others were taken to Babylon. Ezekiel was God’s prophet there in Babylon but his message wasn’t for the foreigners, it was for his own people who still hadn’t learned anything even though they had lost everything.
Ezekiel was a unique character, seemingly part priest, part thespian. Ezekiel often employed physical demonstration to drive the message of God home to the people. He once laid on his left side for a 390 days representing Israel’s rebellion and then turned onto his right side for another 40 days to represent Judah’s sin, all the while tied up and unable to roll to the other side. God gave Ezekiel fantastic visions and messages to declare, most of which went unheeded by his fellow exiles – but God told him to speak them anyway and he did, because God knew Ezekiel was the kind of man who would do anything.
Ezekiel was obstinate and hard-headed. In fact God said Ezekiel’s head was as hard as a rock. Know anybody like that? Most of us do. Some parents and teachers are frustrated with obstinate children but God has wired them this way for special assignment. And as He gives Ezekiel his unique calling He reveals the key to directing the hard-headed life. God says, “let all My words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.” Then go…
Deep, careful, personal knowledge of God’s word, carefully applied to their own life first, will help the obstinate person stay on the right path. A kid may, like Ezekiel, have a head like a rock, but if their heart is steeped in God’s word, they will likely be fine. Ezekiel was unique. One of a kind. Just like every child of God, there are no two alike. You don’t have to fit into a certain mold to know God and be known of Him, you just have to be humbly available.
And to those who seek Him, He will always be found by them. In fact, even though the children of Israel would be scattered among the nations after Jerusalem was destroyed, the place they called home occupied by foreigners and their house of worship reduced to rubble. God did not leave them, not a single person, from the time they were scattered till the time He began bringing them back home. God said:
“… Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” Ezekiel 11:6
God promised that He, Himself would be their ‘haven’ their ‘safe place,’ their ‘little sanctuary.’ No matter where they went, no matter who else they might be with, no matter how they might be treated or whether they were accepted and loved or rejected and ignored. God would be there for them.
What a wonderful promise to the obstinate, the hard-headed, the loner and the introvert. Anyone who feels just outside the main stream can know that God is just outside as well, and right there with you. He is your refuge and your strength, your very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). There is nothing to fear. He knows your quirks and your weaknesses and He is there for you – He is your safe place.
Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23
God loves each of His unique and peculiar people, dear one, and He makes His home, a little sanctuary, with each of us who love Him and keep His word.