Daily Devotion – June 30, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison
2:1 He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you.
2:2 And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me.
2:3 He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day.
2:4 The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD.”
2:5 Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.
In this account of Ezekiel’s calling to be a prophet of the Lord, he has a vision of how it must be to be in the Lord’s house, in the Lord’s presence. In previous verses we have heard in recent weeks, the Lord calls out almost in desperation, “I have something to be done. Whom shall I send? Will no one go for me?” and Ezekiel says, “I’ll go! Send me.”
In these verses we find out what the errand is. It is to speak to God’s people.
The Lord describes these people to Ezekiel the way a despairing parent describes a teenager in the throes of rebellion against authority. The parent is desperate – s/he has tried everything – counseling, tough love, group therapy, and each thing works one time but not a second time. Not only that, to speak to these rebellious people, you need to have God’s spirit inside you, both to properly hear what the message is as well as to say it and be heard. That way, whether the rebels do what you tell them or do not do it, God says, they will know either way you are speaking for me and have been sent by me.
Or we might read it another way.
Here is a God, deeply in love with a nation whose people have become distracted and who pay no attention, who no longer eagerly await his arrival at the door or a letter from him, for whom the spark of deep caring and anticipation has gone out. It is as if the people have been taken over by addiction or depression and who never even come to the door anymore. This God wants to rekindle the relationship and wants the people to know it is actually God, Godself, who is sending this message, this love token, to the beloved, hoping it will get their attention and they will open the door. God wants them to know that this is a direct message from their very own God.
God reveals that God is desperate to connect with God’s chosen people, no matter what. We also have this God’s love and affection, no matter what. And the same spirit of God that entered Ezekiel to help him speak to the people, this same spirit comes to us to try to get our attention. Listen for it. It comes near to you every day if you can hear it. It comes to show you God is presently at work in your very neighborhood! No matter what you think, God is still coming to us. No matter what you pay attention to, God is paying attention to you. And when you pay attention, God has a calling for you, too.
Gracious God, thank you for loving us. Thank you for paying attention to us, even though we ignore you. Help us to notice your spirit, your work in our midst, and your kingdom coming near. Amen.