He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.

Ezekiel 2:3-7

The prophet was called by God to share God’s message to his people. God’s message: one to which they were being asked to listen, one spoken for their sakes. Ezekiel was not expected to deliver his own version or to cleverly frame the message as something enticing to the people who he was sent to, he was to be brave in his message and present it.

When we encounter rebellious believers, hard hearted and set against God in their ways and in their minds, we must not fear them. While the lost among the nations are sinful because of their ignorance, the wayward believer is sinful despite knowing better. This is the hardest part of the call of those who take the Lord’s name and treasure his Word. We must speak, because while the hearers may fail, the Word cannot.

Ethan Kirl