EZEKIEL chapters 2 & 3
"And He said unto me, son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee."
In the midst of the wondrous vision, Ezekiel is suddenly aware of the voice of God speaking with Him. God gives wonderful visions, dreams, and revelation, but always with a purpose. He calls for Ezekiel's attention, by calling him "son of man" (ben adam). This phrase is found 100 times in the book of Ezekiel, and always without the definite article. In the New Testament, it is found 88 times, 86 by Christ about Himself, twice by John about Jesus, but always with the definite article. Thus, God calls Ezekiel to be "a son of man", and Jesus is "the Son of Man". Simply it means that one is a "human being".
Ezekiel is simply a human being, and is reminded of that over and over. Jesus left heaven, and became man, He reminds us of His earthly nature many times. To Ezekiel, it reminded him of his insignificance, and about Jesus, it reminds us of His humble incarnation, to become one of us. In the book of Enoch, Jesus is called "the Son of Man" (Enoch 46:1-2). Jesus wanted to emphasize his Man-side of the "God-man". He lowered Himself to become human flesh, and yet mankind needs to be reminded over and over not to try to elevate oneself above this level that Jesus came down to.
Ezekiel had prostrated himself before this God Who is speaking to him, but God summons him to his feet. God did not want paralysis from Ezekiel, but He wanted action and service. Ezekiel is given four commissions by God.
"And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel."
"And He said unto me, Son of man, go, and get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them."
"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."
"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."
The book of Ezekiel often uses the name "adonay yahweh", i.e. the Lord God.
The word "adonay" means "sovereign, ruler, master".
The word "yahweh" means "self existent, eternal, unchangeable One." It refers to the "I am, I was, and I will be" One. It is used to refer to all three members of the Trinity.
106 times Ezekiel uses the phrase
"THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD
55 times Ezekiel uses the phrase
"SAITH THE LORD GOD"
3 times Ezekiel uses the phrase
"AH LORD GOD"
1 time Ezekiel uses the phrase
"OH, LORD GOD"
4 times Ezekiel uses the phrase
"YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD GOD"
1 time Ezekiel uses the phrase
"THE HAND OF THE LORD GOD FELL THERE ON ME"
2 times Ezekiel uses the phrase
"HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD GOD"
This totals 172 times that "Lord God" is used in Ezekiel. Only 7 times it is Ezekiel calling God that name, and 165 times, it is God calling Himself that name. Obviously, there is something here we need to see. God wants us to know Him as Lord and master, and that He is the eternal, never changing God for us.
TO WHOM IS EZEKIEL CALLED????
Ezekiel is called to minister "to the children of Israel, to nations (peoples) that are rebellious, who have rebelled against Me (God)."
Ezekiel 2:3 (KJV)
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
Ezekiel is called to preach to the "impudent and stiff hearted." (Ezek. 2:4).
Ezekiel 2:4 (KJV)
4 For they are impudent children and stiff hearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
Literally this means "hard of face" and "firm of heart". The "hard of face" is one who will not lower his face to respect one of higher stature or position. The "firm of heart" are those who are stubborn, unyielding to the point of even when found guilty they will not give way.
Isaiah refers to the nation in similar terminology:
"I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass."
God first warns Ezekiel that he will not have a sympathetic congregation. But God tells him that only two things are important, that Ezekiel's message was to be "THUS SAITH THE LORD", and that they would know that there had been a prophet among them.
Many prophets called to a ministry as was Ezekiel have argued with God, and tried to avoid such a ministry. Ezekiel is not given a chance to give excuses as had Moses (Ex. 3:11-4:17), or as had Jeremiah (Jer. 1:6).
God immediately tells Ezekiel to take courage,
Ezekiel 2:6-8 (KJV)
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
7 And thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
and gives him a foretaste of his message.
Ezekiel 2:9-10 (KJV)
9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Ezekiel 3:1-3 (KJV)
1 Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll.
3 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.
Then God promises him power to persist and continue in the face of resistance and adversity.
Ezekiel 3:4-9 (KJV)
4 And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them.
5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
6 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.
7 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.
8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
9 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.
Ezekiel took the command and commission of the Lord God seriously, and with the aid of the vision of chapter one, he bravely preached God's messages. He had a fearless presentation and seemed almost immune to fear. God did keep encouraging him to not "be dismayed at their looks." Ezekiel bore up well because God assured him that He knew that they would treat him that way.
Ezekiel is then given a curious and unusual command:
"Eat the roll (scroll)."
This was a strange request to ask Ezekiel to eat the book presented to him by the Lord. He is told to "be not rebellious". Disobedience here would identify Ezekiel with rebellious Israel. Ezekiel had to be different from those to whom he ministered. Ezekiel passed this test.
The scroll had writing on the front and on the back. Perhaps this was to imply that God had much to tell Ezekiel. The scroll shown to John in Revelation was also written upon the front and the back.
"And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals."
The scroll eaten by Ezekiel was sweet. This is because the words were the words of God. Even the bitter truth is sweet, when we see God's view of it.
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart."
"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."
"How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth."
"...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."
stay tuned for part 2 of Ezekiel's Commission