Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
I. The ministry of divine truths is a special ordinance of God. The watchman is not (1) self-constituted; (2) self-instructed; (3) self-sent.
II. The ministry of divine truths is entrusted with the duty of warning men. Three mistakes about warning may be pointed out: (1) That warning is independent of knowledge; (2) that warning betokens hardness of nature; (3) that warning is the lowest and easiest duty of the ministry.
III. The duty of warning men is connected with a just distribution of responsibility.
Parker, City Temple, 1871, p. 92.
Reference: Ezekiel 3:18.—S. Cox, Expositions, 3rd series, p. 16.
Ezekiel 3:22In the text there are three points of deep interest.
I. The speciality of God's appointments.
II. The personality of God's communications.
III. The familiarity of God's condescension. Application. (1) God has ever something to say to man. (2) In seeking solitude, man should seek God. (3) Man himself should often propose to commune with God.
Parker, City Temple, vol. i., p. 363; see also Pulpit Notes, p. 197.
References: Ezekiel 3:22.—W. M. Arthur, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 324. Ezekiel 4:1.—S. Baring-Gould, Village Preaching for a Year, vol. ii., p. 236. Ezekiel 7:2, Ezekiel 7:3.—J. Keble, Sermons from Advent to Christmas Eve, p. 79. Ezekiel 7:5, Ezekiel 7:6.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 155.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 strong upon me.
Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
And 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.
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.
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.
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.