1 And he said to me, "Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel."
2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat.
3 And he said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it." Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.
4 And he said to me, "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them.
5 For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel---
6 not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you.
7 But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.
8 Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.
9 Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house."
10 Moreover, he said to me, "Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears.
11 And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' whether they hear or refuse to hear."
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: "Blessed be the glory of the LORD from its place!"
13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake.
14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the LORD being strong upon me.
15 And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.
A Watchman for Israel
16 And at the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me:
17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
18 If I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
20 Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand.
21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul."
22 And the hand of the LORD was upon me there. And he said to me, "Arise, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you."
23 So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face.
24 But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, "Go, shut yourself within your house.
25 And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people.
26 And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house.
27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.' He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.
Things to think about…
1.The similarities between the Apostle John's vision and commissioning in Revelation and Ezekiel's vision is striking. John also had to eat a scroll that was sweet to his taste, Rev 10:9, 10. The words of Ezekiel would not be tolerated by his people. In fact he would have had more luck if he was speaking to foreigners, Ez 3:6. Do you feel the Aussie's that you speak to are hard just like ancient Israel? I think they are comfortable speaking about fiath but are less inclined to embrace. The Lord opens the minds and hearts of people to receive God's word, whether to ancient Jews or modern day Aussies.
2.Look at the Lord's counsel to Ezekiel. Whether they hear or refuse you must still say "Thus says the Lord", Ez 3:11. As Christians we must bring all arguments back to the cross and the sacrifice of Christ. Regardless of what the atheist, the humanist, the liberal Christian, or anyone else says. We have the words of eternal life. Let's use them and never compromise.
3.No prophet wants to be told that his ministry will be unprofitable! Even Isaiah when told similar news exclaimed, "How long, O Lord", Isa 6:11. Ezekiel went to the exiles in "bitterness in the heat of my spirit", Ez 3:14. Even though the hand of the Lord was upon him he knew these people were stiff necked, hard hearted rebels and yet he still had a ministry to tell them the truth. Do not be concerned by how many repent or otherwise at your message. Be concerned as to whether you have been faithful with the message.
4.It is interesting that Ezekiel was accountable with the message, Ez 3:18. Even though people are saved only by the Lord's grace, we are still accountable to faithfully deliver the message. My encouragement for you today is to pray for an opportunity to speak into someone's life and then to have the boldness to actually do it. Who can you think of right now to share the Word of God with today? As Jesus would later echo to his hearers and also to John in Revelation, "He who will hear, let him hear", Mt 11:15, Rev 22:17.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
Sunday morning's message on "You are God's gift to me" from Song of Songs 1:9-2:7.
1.These words are flowery and use poetic language. Have you ever felt this way about a person where you only had eyes for them? What was going through your mind and heart?
2.Often our first love is filled with endorphins and chemicals that keep us in an infatuation, honeymoon type state. Studies have shown these wear off after 18months to 3 years. The young person that you fell in love with no longer has the same appeal. What do you do to maintain romance and affection in your marriage?
3.The Song of Solomon has some resemblances to our connection with Christ as His bride. The Apostle John speaks about the Ephesian church while doctrinally pure had lost their first love, Rev 2:4,5. Jesus tells them to repent. What must we repent of when we wain in our love for Christ and the gospel.
4.Pray for a zeal in your closest relationships. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you with His gifts, love and grace?
1.This Saturday's men's breakfast
2.CBC's ministries for this term
3.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
4.Next Sunday's messages. Ezekiel 3"Whose watching over me?" in the morning, "Israel – the miracle nation"– Axiom 6pm.
5.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.
6.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.
7.Church finances – Pray all expenses are met and that we can again support Digital Harvest and One for Israel.
8.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services
2.Unity, love and peace
1.Denning group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.
2.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.
3.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church..
4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children.
5.Members Meeting – 18th August after morning service.
6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton
This month's catechism question...
Q. 2. In whose name should we pray?
A. Only in the name of Christ.
Bible Reference – John14:13&14; John 16:23&24; Heb.4:14-16.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3