Ezekiel 2:7
But speak My words to them, whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.
A Prophet's CommissionHomiletic MagazineEzekiel 2:7
The Ministerial CommissionP. Hope, B. D.Ezekiel 2:7
The Commission to Prophetic ServiceW. Jones Ezekiel 2:3-8
God's Ambassador a WarriorJ.D. Davies Ezekiel 2:6-8

The path of duty, since the Fall, is never smooth. We may have an inward sense of delight - tranquil satisfaction, arising from the approval of conscience and the smile of God - but from without we must expect sharp opposition. There is demand for vigilance, skill, and courage.

I. OPPOSITION FORESEEN. Men who have long time departed from God are not easily induced to return. The tree that has grown wildly crooked, cannot readily be restored to straightness and shape. Those who have abandoned the paths of truth and righteousness, sadly degrade their original nature. The cedars are reduced to thorns and briers. Sinners are unprofitable and injurious in the world - a curse to society. They bear no fruit, or only sour and poisonous fruit. They choke the promise of better things. Or they are like scorpions, bent only on mischief. Originally lords of nature, they have sunk to the level of the meanest insects. There is poison in their crafty words. There is a danger in their very looks.

II. COURAGE DEMANDED. "Be not afraid of them." Why should God's servants fear? Our adversaries' words are mere breath. Not a particle of power have they but such as is permitted them by our Master. While they open their mouths in loud boasting, the finger of death is loosening the silver cord within. As the mighty God hath said to the angry waves, so hath he said to these, "Thus far shall ye go, and no further." They may loudly bark, but it is seldom they have power to bite. The fierce opposition of the ungodly may turn to our good; it may and ought to develop our courage. The severer the conflict, the more strength we may gather, and the greater will be our triumph. As they are so zealous in a bad cause, how much more zealous should we be in the very best of enterprises?

III. THE ONLY WEAPON PERMITTED. In this conflict with human folly and rebellion, our only weapon is to be "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." "Thou shalt speak ray words unto them." If they meet us with contempt and malice, we have but to repeat in calmer tones, and with undisturbed patience, the same facts - the message from the lips of God. Any addition of ours, however suitable it may seem, only weakens the force of the message. We must see to it that the edge of the weapon is not blunted by our own carelessness. Our only concern should be that we do speak all the counsel of God - that it is the Word of God, both in substance and form, which we utter.

IV. AN INSIDIOUS DANGER EXPOSED. "Be not thou rebellious like that rebellions house." One foe within the camp is more injurious than a thousand outside. If a germ of disease be in the medicine, it will invalidate all its efficacy. Rebellion assumes a myriad forms. It is a hydra with more than a hundred heads. Listlessness in hearing the heavenly commission - a tampering with its fixed terms, a rash attempt to improve the Divine original - these and such-like acts are seed germs of rebellion in the soul. "If the salt be deprived of its savour," wherewith shall the corruptions of the world be purged out? An unfaithful ambassador adds fresh aggravation to the revolt of a province. Sin is a contagious evil. - D.

Thou shalt speak My words unto them.
I. THE PARTIES CONCERNED IN THIS COMMISSION. These are, first, the Eternal God, our King and Creator and Judge, who issued this commission; secondly, the preachers of the Gospel who are appointed to execute it; thirdly, the hearers of the word, or, more generally, all who are within the sound of the Gospel, for whose behoof the commission was issued. We stand before you as the commissioned servant of the God with whom you have to do, invested with the office of conveying instrumentally His proclamation to your ears, telling you what He requires you to be and to do, and pointing out to you, and pressing upon your attention, His general mind and will regarding you. Do not mistake the messenger for a mediator. We stand to speak to you of God, and commissioned by Him, as we trust, but it is simply in the former of these capacities, and not at all in the latter. We stand, as it were, between the living and the dead; but it is as the golden channel through which spiritual life is conveyed from the one to the other.

II. THE NATURE OF THE COMMISSION WHICH IS INTRUSTED TO US. "Thou shalt speak My words unto them." What we are to declare unto you is the counsel of God, not of man; but of this whole counsel we are to be careful to keep nothing back. He has given us a written record of His mind and will, and we are to look for no further revelation. Our message is of a twofold character. To a certain extent it is such a message as a natural man, endowed with a conscience, and conscious of guilt, might have expected to issue from the holy sanctuary above. It speaks to him of the holiness and justice and omnipotence of Jehovah, and of his own guilt and depravity, and the fearful doom impending over him, as his own conscience speaks, but in language much more clear and explicit, and a thousandfold more loud and appalling. All this the foreboding and sin-laden spirit of man might have anticipated in a communication from heaven. But could it ever have entered into the heart of man or angel to conceive that this communication should also exhibit the amazing spectacle of a holy and offended God beseeching hell-deserving sinners to be reconciled, offering to the very guiltiest among them a full and free salvation, a salvation purchased by the blood of His own beloved Son?

III. THE WAY IN WHICH THIS MESSAGE IS TO BE DELIVERED AND THIS COMMISSION TO BE EXECUTED. "Thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear." Is the ambassador of an earthly potentate at liberty to decline the duty which he has deliberately undertaken, and with which he has been intrusted, on account of obloquy or even danger attending the faithful performance of it? or is he at liberty to alter or modify the terms of his instructions in order to shield himself from reproach or from peril? Assuredly not. And shall the ambassadors of the King of kings venture to tamper with and distort the message which they were commissioned to deliver? Shall they presumptuously attempt to amend the terms on which the Lord of heaven and earth declares that He will treat with His rebellious subjects? or shall they leave out of the proclamation whatever it may be unpleasant to these subjects to hear? But then, again, thanks be to God, we are to preach the Gospel, the good news, among you; and the same obligation rests upon us to preach it faithfully and fully. After denouncing, as we are bound to do, every refuge of lies, we are eagerly to point you to the refuge set before you in the Gospel. And we must faithfully tell you, though we can but speak of it faintly, of the glory, and the excellence, and the suitableness of the salvation of the Gospel, of all that it is in itself, and of all that it brings along with it, of the grace here and the glory hereafter which it confers, and of its perfect accommodation to the case of every sinner among you, whether pardoned or unpardoned, whether born again or yet dead in trespasses and sins.

IV. THE DUTY OF THOSE FOR WHOSE BEHOOF THIS COMMISSION HAS BEEN ISSUED. It will profit you nothing to attend upon a Gospel ministry, even though the word should there be spoken as never man spake it, if you do not receive that word with faith and love, lay it up in your hearts, and practise it in your lives. But oh! when you consider what is the nature of the message which we bear, can you help seeing that it is a glorious and blessed privilege, as well as a bounden duty, to attend to it? Do you not see that God commands nothing but what it will promote your own best interests to perform? and is not this a mighty additional motive for yielding obedience?

(P. Hope, B. D.)

Homiletic Magazine.


1. First by study to understand, and then to proclaim the truths of the Bible.

2. This duty is —


(2)Often painful (ver. 10).Learn —

1. To honour God's ministers.

2. To listen to their message as from God.

3. To beware of rebellion.

(Homiletic Magazine.)

Ezekiel, Israelites
Ear, Fail, Forbear, Hast, Listen, Rebellious, Refuse, Speak, Spoken, Uncontrolled, Whether
1. Ezekiel's commission
6. His instruction
9. The scroll of his heavy prophecy

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ezekiel 2:1-7

     7758   preachers, call

Ezekiel 2:5-8

     6223   rebellion, of Israel

Endurance of the World's Censure.
"And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them; neither be afraid of their words, though briars 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."--Ezekiel ii. 6. What is here implied, as the trial of the Prophet Ezekiel, was fulfilled more or less in the case of all the Prophets. They were not Teachers merely, but Confessors. They came not merely to unfold the Law, or to foretell the Gospel,
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

Epistle xxxvi. To Maximus, Bishop of Salona .
To Maximus, Bishop of Salona [113] . Gregory to Maximus, &c. When our common son the presbyter Veteranus came to the Roman city, he found me so weak from the pains of gout as to be quite unable to answer thy Fraternity's letters myself. And indeed with regard to the nation of the Sclaves [114] , from which you are in great danger, I am exceedingly afflicted and disturbed. I am afflicted as suffering already in your suffering: I am disturbed, because they have already begun to enter Italy by way
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Epistle Xlv. To Theoctista, Patrician .
To Theoctista, Patrician [153] . Gregory to Theoctista, &c. We ought to give great thanks to Almighty God, that our most pious and most benignant Emperors have near them kinsfolk of their race, whose life and conversation is such as to give us all great joy. Hence too we should continually pray for these our lords, that their life, with that of all who belong to them, may by the protection of heavenly grace be preserved through long and tranquil times. I have to inform you, however, that I have
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

St. Malachy Becomes Bishop of Connor; He Builds the Monastery of iveragh.
16. (10). At that time an episcopal see was vacant,[321] and had long been vacant, because Malachy would not assent: for they had elected him to it.[322] But they persisted, and at length he yielded when their entreaties were enforced by the command of his teacher,[323] together with that of the metropolitan.[324] It was when he was just entering the thirtieth year of his age,[325] that he was consecrated bishop and brought to Connor; for that was the name of the city through ignorance of Irish ecclesiastical
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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