The Following thought for the day was written by Brother Richard Morgan and provides insight and encouragement for those seeking to serve the God of Israel.
What is the key verse in the prophecy of Ezekiel? An easy way to remember it is to divide the number of chapters in the book, 48, by 2. That brings us to today’s reading, and Ezekiel 24:24 reads, “Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord God.’”
The two halves of this verse summarize the two grand themes of the prophecy. First, Ezekiel was a man of signs. He did things like build dioramas, lie on his side, and avoid mourning when his wife died. Everything was an object lesson that the people of Judah might look at the prophet and see his message in action. There’s an example in verses 2-5 where the prophet had to boil meat in a pot representing the wicked deeds of the nation.
Second, all that Ezekiel did and said was done so the people might know God. As you read through Ezekiel, you will notice the phrase “you will know that I am the Lord God,” or similar, occurs over and over again. The point is that through His dealings with the people of Judah, God was showing who He is, His justice, righteousness, and, ultimately, His mercy. If you look at the very last occurrence of the phrase in chapter 39 – “Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God” (v28), it’s in the context of God summarizing what He has done with His people throughout history. Finally, they will be brought back to the glory God intended for them from the beginning.
There’s an important lesson in all this for how we preach. None of us are prophets, called explicitly for a task like Ezekiel’s. But we are encouraged to preach and do so in both word and action. Each of us, like Ezekiel, should be an object lesson. When other people look at us, they should see God’s purpose in action. Are we doing things so that others know that we have a different focus in life? Is there something different about us in the way we treat others, what sort of things we talk about, what we’re focused on, and how we conduct ourselves?
Also, our preaching should not just be about telling people what Christadelphians believe. Are we telling people who our God is? Do people get to know the God of the Bible by what we say? Do we talk about how we see God working in our lives? Do we share our hop? We should be walking, talking, living lessons for people to observe and see the God of heaven reflected in our characters, actions, and the things we say.
Ezekiel was given the task to preach to the people “whether they hear or refuse to hear” (Ezek. 2:5). We are no different. Sometimes we get frustrated with our preaching efforts when few people turn up to an advertised talk. But preaching should be more than that. Whether people listen to us or not, our role in life is to make God known. If we genuinely are God’s sons and daughters, then we shouldn’t need organized events to preach; it should be something we do every day of our lives in every interaction we have.
Simi Hills, CA
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View all the thoughts in this series here…