Ezekiel Chapter 3:1-11




Ezekiel chapter 3:1-3 says, “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” One of the things that is emphasized in the first chapters of Ezekiel is the necessity of the Word of God to strengthen a man and to prepare him to do God’s will. Trees do not grow overnight and neither do men of God. When Ezekiel ate the Word of God he said it was in my mouth as sweetness. There is a saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. It says in Psalms 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” It also says in Psalms 29:7,The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire.” It may seem to be oxymoron that in Ezekiel chapter 2 concerning the Word of God one of the things emphasized was a message of lamentations and woe and mourning. The apostle John had a similar experience when he ate the word of God and he said in Revelation 10:9-10, “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” The Word of God is sweet because truth is beautiful and beauty is only found in holiness. The Word of God is like medicine. Sometimes medicine seems bitter but it heals and it restores and it strengthens and it brings judgment, and therein lays its sweetness.


When we look at the literature of the world, we may often marvel at the skill of some men like Shakespeare, other famous poets, or writers of prose. How skillful they weave their words so that they are beautiful and inspiring and touch the human mind and heart. But there has been no literature written greater than the Bible. Of course the Bible is God’s Word not man’s, and the Lord took great care and approximately 1500 years to provide us with His Word. It is both poetry and prose, and whatever language it is translated into, it always becomes the greatest work of literature in that language. Take Jesus and turn Him into words and you have the Bible. It is no wonder that when Ezekiel ate the word that he said, “…it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” And it is no wonder the Psalmist said in Psalms 138:2, “… for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” If you take the Word of God and eat it you will find though it may be bitter in your belly, it will be in your mouth sweet as honey. And then you will find that life itself will become sweet as honey, for Jesus said in John 10:10, “…I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.


Ezekiel chapter 3, verses 4-7 says, “And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.” The first thing said in Verse 4 is that Ezekiel was to speak God’s Words, not his own. It doesn’t matter how eloquent of speech you may be. It doesn’t matter if you possess the skill of a poet. Unless you speak the Words of God you will fail to accomplish the work of God. Some preachers have become famous and liked because of their speaking ability. Also to stand up for an hour and talk about one’s self accomplishes little. Once upon a time there was a Seminary professor who stood up in chapel to speak. Of course he had a PHD and was praised for his education and intellectual ability, but when he spoke not once in his message did he use the Word of God. The Bible says in Romans 10:17, “… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” God said to Ezekiel, “Get thee unto the house of Israel and, speak with my words unto them.”


The next thing that God points out to Ezekiel is that He is not sending Ezekiel unto a strange people, or in other words this is not a situation like a missionary who goes to a foreign country. The Lord was sending Ezekiel unto his own countrymen who spoke the same language as Ezekiel: not a people of a strange or hard language. The phrase “strange or hard language” simple refers to a foreign language. What good would it do for Ezekiel to go and speak the Words of God in his own tongue to people who spoke a different tongue and would not understand him?  You would think that this is merely common sense that for someone to understand your message, you would speak in a language they understand. In the day of Pentecost in the New Testament God did a miracle to overcome the language barrier that often divides men. Acts 2:8 says, “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” It’s a shame that so many people today, who often get involved in religion, misunderstand that miracle at Pentecost. Instead they are mislead by a false teaching which is called speaking in tongues, but really is simply vain babblings. Think of all the churches that have been erected, and all the money and time spent by human beings to emphasize and to practice vain babblings. It does not build up their faith in the promises of God. It does not remind them of the rainbow in the clouds. And it does not help them to stand up and to go withersoever it is the Spirit goes. All of these erroneous and poisonous teachings could be avoided if people would simple consider what is said here in Ezekiel chapter 3.


The last part of Ezekiel chapter 3 verse 6-7 says, “Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee: for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and heardhearted.” Of course it has been emphasized repeatedly that the children of Israel were hard of heart and impudent and rebellious. Everyone is born in sin and by nature is already in this state. But those who receive the truth and rebel against it are even more so hardened. The children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, were blessed to be God’s chosen people. God was going to use some nation to do the things that He did. The reason it was the nation of Israel is because of certain believers in Him that the God made promises to, such as Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac. They became the nation whom God gave His Word to and they became the name from which the Messiah of the World was born. What a privilege for a nation. However, they also failed, and for the most part rejected the truth. And this is why even unto this day are they trodden under the foot of the gentiles.


And then God said if Ezekiel went unto those of hard speech, they would have hearkened unto him.  In the Gospel of Mark the story is given of a Grecian woman and it says in Mark 7:27-28, “But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.” There are those out there who have never yet heard of Jesus and how He died for their sins. There are those out there who have not had the privilege to hear all the wonderful teachings of God’s Word. In today’s age it is the age of the church. But the church as a whole is in the same condition that Israel was in, during the days of Ezekiel. Matthew 19:30, “But many that are first shall be last; the last shall be first.” It may be that those who are like Ezekiel in today’s age, the age of the church. For example, there are still wicked priests of a hard hearted nation and of a hard hearted church who no longer listen to nor teach the Word of God. But it may be there are some who are like the Grecian lady who came to Jesus out of such a hunger for His Word that she begged for whatever crumbs of truth she could find that the Hand of God would give her. 


Even though God said the children of Israel would not hearken, Ezekiel was to go unto them because God’s Word accomplishes its purpose even when the will of man resists it.  Ezekiel chapter 3 verses 8-9, “Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.” Another thing that we are seeing emphasized repeatedly here in these first few chapters of Ezekiel is that God will strengthen and enable. Ezekiel would need such a strengthening for his task. We know that God said the children of Israel were rebellious, impudent, hard hearted, and as scorpions. The Babylonians were the same nation in which Nebuchadnezzar raised up an image of himself and demanded that all bow down and worship him as a god, and those who would not would be cast into the fiery furnace. And of all the nation of Israel and of all the people of the Babylonians we know that in that day, only 3 souls did not bow down. And those were the people that Ezekiel was to face. People who are strongly opposed to the truth will use all their power, their will, their minds, their abilities, their anger, their human strength, human wisdom, and human manipulative abilities to oppose God. When verses 8 and 9 refer to the forehead and the face, the idea is that God will prepare and strengthen your mind to be able to stand against such opposition when you are doing His will.


Verses 10-11 go on to say, “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” Over and over and over God tells Ezekiel to listen to His Word and then to go and tell it to Israel. Often this is the way it works: God has to tell us something over and over and over. And it cannot be repeated or emphasized too many times, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.”


It is interesting to note that God referred to Israel as them of the captivity. They were in bondage and in many ways it was no different than in the days of Moses when they suffered in the bondage of slavery under the Egyptians. Strange but you would think that people in such a situation as slavery and bondage would be willing to listen to what God had to say. But the children of Israel in the days of Moses initially did not listen either when God spoke to them.  Exodus 5:21 says, “And they said unto them, the Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants.” In Exodus when Moses came initially and declared and showed the wonders of God, Pharaoh responded by making those of the captivity work harder and suffer more. And so they did not want to listen to Moses. It could be that a similar situation would keep those of the captivity in Ezekiel’s day from listening: fear of the Babylonians and how they would respond to them if they listened and received the Word of God. Fear is a thing of the mind and the fear of the truth and the fear of the world, or peer pressure, has kept many a soul on the path to hell. But God can make your forehead as adamant.


The last part of verse 11 says, “Thus said the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” This phrase was used in the previous chapters. We will see it again at the end of Ezekiel chapter 3. What it means is that God will not make anyone do anything, but He lets them choose for themselves.  Joshua 24:15 says, “…if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve...” Perhaps this is another reason why God told Ezekiel that even though the children of Israel were impudent, hard hearted, and rebellious and would not listen, that He was to go anyway and speak forth God’s Words. It is not for man to judge, or as the saying goes, “It is not for us to reason why, but to do and die.” Only God knows who ultimately is going to hear and who is going to forbear. God knows the final outcome. He is in control. He will strengthen and guide and we are merely to hear all the words that He has spoken and receive them in our hearts. The most important question is: have you received the Living Word, Jesus Christ, into your heart?





Copyright; 2010 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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