“So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.” – Ezekiel 3:14
Ezekiel was called by God to be a priest and to preach to the nation of Israel while they were in captivity in Babylon. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah (who was said to be 20 years older) and Daniel (who was the same age). If dates hold correctly, Jeremiah was called at the age of 30, which is significant because this is the age a priest would begin his ministry.
Before being sent, God explained to Ezekiel that he would have a very difficult ministry. He was going to have people hurling false accusations against him. He was going to have people looking at him and hating him with a passion. Ezekiel would be in captivity with the people and be instructed by God to do some things that were out of the ordinary. In fact, the Bible says God tells him, “I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.” Not only that, Ezekiel was going to have to bring an unpopular message that nobody would listen to. These were the words God told him before he started his ministry. He was to deliver the message as given to him “whether they hear, or whether they refuse.” Do you think Ezekiel was looking forward to this calling?
In chapter three we catch up with Ezekiel and we see him contemplating everything God had shown him and told him in the first two chapters. And here we get to see a great man of God who was discouraged, angry and bitter. We are given a picture of a human being. Being a Christ follower and servant of Jesus comes with expectations from the Lord to be obedient and it was no different for Ezekiel. It is encouraging during times of doubt to reflect on the men and women in Christ who have gone before us. When we know the hand of the Lord is upon us, we find our strength to fulfill His call on our lives.
“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying…” “…I have made you a sign to the house of Israel. So I did as I was commanded.” – Ezekiel 12:1; 6-7