Ezekiel 3:12-27




The Bible says in Ezekiel chapter 3 verses 12-14, “Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place. And I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. 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 upon me.”  It is very important if you want to be a part of the work that God is doing in the world, and if you want to go, do, and say at the right time what the Spirit of God wants you to, that you be aware of who God is and what He is doing. That is what these verses emphasize. Ezekiel heard, and he saw, and he felt spiritual things. Acts 2:2 says And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”


In the days of the New Testament not long after the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ, God poured forth His matchless grace unto men by giving them a permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These events are recorded for us in the Bible in the book of Acts. One of the things that occurred during the day of Pentecost is that those disciples heard a mighty rushing wind. There was also cloven tongues of fire that sat on their heads. Of course God did these miracles and manifestations for the sake of the disciples’ faith to help them know for certain that God was indeed giving them a permanent indwelling of the Spirit. God got their attention and they knew what He was doing.


It’s interesting to notice that the same word “rushing” in these verses is also translated as “earthquake.” First Kings 19:11-12 translates “earthquake,” “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” And Isaiah 29:6 translates “earthquake,” “Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.” Sometimes God speaks in a still small voice, and sometimes when God moves the whole world shakes. But either way what’s important is whether or not you are aware of what God is doing and what He wants you to do. More often than not however, it will be the still small voice by which He speaks, for we live in the age of grace not in a time of tribulation when all the world shall be shaken as with a great earthquake. And in the age of grace God speaks with the still small voice of His Word which lays still and silent on the written pages of the Bible waiting to be opened and read.


Once Ezekiel was aware of what God wanted him to do and where He wanted him to go, having been strengthened in the previous chapters, he went. It says however in verse 14, “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 upon me.” It may seem a strange thing that Ezekiel went in bitterness. After all isn’t it a joy to be in fellowship with Christ and to be doing His work and to be earning your eternal crowns? Ezekiel went in bitterness. But how could he not go in bitterness unto a people that were hard-hearted and rebellious and as impudent children and as scorpions; and how could he not go with a message of lamentations and woe and mourning’s. It was not that he did not have joy but sometimes the tasks that God sets us to do are bitter tasks just as sometimes when we eat our daily bread it is as in the mouth honey for sweetness but in the belly bitter. If God sets forth for you a task in which you must go in bitterness, you can be certain that if you are led by the Spirit, the Lord will be upon you. And this means simply God will enable you.


Ezekiel chapter 3 Verse 15 says, “Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel–abib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.” To be astonished means to be desolate or to be silent. Sometimes part of serving God simply means that we must wait and keep our peace. Ezekiel didn’t immediately run out into the streets and hold up signs that said woe and lamentations and mourning’s, he simply remained astonished among them seven days. Of course we know that God in the beginning created the world in 7 days. And the number 7 often is used in the Bible to symbolize perfection. God has a work that He is doing on the earth. Sometimes while we sit and wait in silence we do not always hear the rushing of the wheels as they turn round but you can be certain that they are turning and that the work that God is doing is a perfect work. Just as in the beginning in Genesis when God saw that which He made was good. It has been some 6000 or so years since that day and to man that is a long time but to God 1000 years is as a day and a day is as 1000 years. It may be there is but one more day before the final spinning of the wheels and the great earthquakes of judgment come upon the world, and it may be yet another 1000 years. The important thing is to remember to wait and to keep your peace. Don’t go crazy when the world goes crazy. Just continue to go where God wants you to go and to do what God wants you to do.


Verses 16-17 saysAnd it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the Word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” In this verse a very important word is used, it is the word watchman. A similar thing was said to Isaiah. The book of Isaiah chapter 21:6, “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” Isaiah 21:11 says, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” And verse 12 says, “The watchman said, the morning cometh, and also the night.” Now something very important has been said. Ezekiel was to be a watchman. And what is a watchman and what does a watchman do? The last part of verse 17 says that a watchman is to hear and to warn. What is the watchman to hear and to warn of? Well, Ezekiel heard the rushing. Ezekiel heard the Word of God. And Ezekiel heard the people and sat among them astonished. The job of the watchman was to stand on the ramparts of the walls and to watch for when the enemy comes that they might give alarm. In other words a watchman is someone who is aware, aware of the spiritual forces at work in the world: the forces of good in the will of God, the forces of evil, and the force of the will of man. The watchman is to hear the word and to warn those that he is looking after. Ezekiel was a watchman unto all the nation of Israel. It may be that you are only a watchman unto one or two people. It may be that you are a watchman unto thousands or unto an entire nation. Whatever the case may be, what is important is that you hear the Word of God and warn them.


If you are uncertain of what it means or how it is to be a watchman and to warn, then consider some other passages where the word “warn” is used and translated. Psalms 19:11 says, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them is there great reward.” Here is the same word “warned” again. Of course in reference to the word “warned” Psalms 19:9-10 says, “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned.” Interestingly the word warned is also used in the book of Daniel and it is translated “shine.” Daniel 12:3 says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” It could be thus surmised that a watchman is one who shines as a light in darkness and turns others to righteousness.


It’s no wonder Ezekiel chapter 3 verses 18-21 goes on to say, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” There are two important lessons taught in these verses. First, that all men are created equal and God is no respecter of persons. And second that all men have a responsibility towards the rest of mankind to take what truth God has taught them and teach it to others. The most important truth of course is that Jesus died for the sins of the world. And God is not slack concerning His judgment but longsuffering, not willing that any should perish. It does not matter if you are the righteous man in these verses or the wicked because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. What matters is whether or not you repent and trust in Jesus.  First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And it does not matter if the people that God puts across your path in life are the righteous or the wicked. You have a responsibility as a watchman and if you do not use the opportunities that God gives you to watch and to warn, you may very well find yourself guilty in your silence of being a bad influence. Sometimes to not teach the truth and remain silent is just as bad as to teach things that are false and to lead one astray.  It is a grim thought indeed to imagine how many souls have seen their live’s and their years of opportunity wasted or have marched blindly through the gates of hell simply because there was no one there to be a watchman and to warn them, or because those who should have warned them did not. One thing is for certain Jesus will be there because God is everywhere and He will always be offering by His own hand His word to warn both the righteous and the wicked.


Verses 22-26, “And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee. Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face. Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.”        In this passage to be dumb means to be silent. Unlike previously said, sometimes God wants us to be silent. He certainly does not want us to cast our pearls before swine. This passage seems to indicate that Ezekiel was imprisoned or put under house arrest by those who were in power that opposed the truth. Sometimes when you follow God’s will you will be persecuted or even unjustly imprisoned, and sometimes in those situations God simply wants you to remain dumb. Even Jesus did this when He stood before Pontius Pilate and faced condemnation to death. Apparently in this situation God wanted Ezekiel to be silent because they were rebellious. And it is better to be silent than to say things that are not what God wants you to say.


Verse 27 says, “But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.”      Once again we hear the phrase, “He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth let him forbear.” It is up to you what you choose to do. It is not your parents fault, it is not the fault of the society you have grown up in, and it’s not your peers’ choice: but it’s your choice. No one can blame anyone but themselves if they hear or if they forbear. This is the power that God has given unto man. This is the power of the will of man. And it is the nature of man to be rebellious. Who then will hear? Jesus said no man can come unto me except the father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day. Have you heard the still small voice of Jesus calling? Has it reached in and shook your soul like an earthquake? Whether you are righteous or wicked, you are warned. This entire world speeds through space: do you hear the rushing? That is the sound of destiny, and that is the sound of the will of God as He gathers all things unto him. And only those that have been washed by the blood of the lamb will be found truly righteous. Trust in Jesus today.





Copyright; 2010 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved