A great and strong nature is sometimes observed to obtain a vast ascendancy over others, to communicate opinion, to exercise influence, to control, to impel, to restrain, to inspire. Now, the prophet is the man to whom the Lord, who is the eternal Truth and Wisdom and Authority, stands in such a relation. As is strikingly described in the text, God pours into the ears and the heart of the prophet the words which are the expression of his infinite mind and will, and thus fits him to stand as his own representative before his fellow men. There was no doubt a special immediateness in this relation between God and the ancient prophets such as Ezekiel; yet the remarkable language of this passage may justly be taken as describing the intercourse which exists between the Father of spirits and those whom he has made partakers of his nature and of his truth and life and love.
I. THE ABUNDANCE OF DIVINE COMMUNICATIONS. There is grandeur in the language here attributed to the Eternal: "All my words that I shall speak unto thee." How can we gather up into one apprehension all the communications, the words, addressed by God to man?
1. All nature may fairly be regarded as the speech of him who, being at once the Father of spirits and the Author of the universe, makes use of the works of his hands as the medium by which to communicate with the beings whom he has endowed with capacities for knowing himself and for sharing in his character.
2. Man's moral nature is in an especial manner the organ by which the Creator reveals his most venerable and admirable attributes; unless man had a heart to feel, he would remain forever a stranger to the glorious character of his God.
3. The text refers undoubtedly to a special revelation accorded to selected individuals for definite purposes. And although there are those who would admit the manifestations of God previously described, and yet would question the reality of a supernatural revelation, there are good reasons for believing that we are indebted to such special provision for not a little of our most precious knowledge of our God.
II. THE OBSTACLES TO HUMAN RECEPTIVENESS, These are not so much intellectual as moral. It is the worldly nature, engrossed with the pursuits of earth and the pleasures of sense, that repels Divine communications. The atmosphere is too dense and foggy for the rays of Divine righteousness and purity to pierce. It is sin which makes the ear deaf and the heart impenetrable so that the words of wisdom and of love die away unheeded and upheard.
III. THE PENETRATION AND OCCUPATION OF HUMAN NATURE BY THE IMPARTING OF DIVINE COMMUNICATIONS: The purpose of the Eternal was that the whole being of the "son of man" should be taken up and occupied by the words to be uttered. And surely this is the intention of God regarding, not Ezekiel alone, but every child of man. There is no obstacle upon the Divine side. On the contrary, the purpose of infinite benevolence is that our humanity may be receptive of Divine blessing.
1. Divine truth is intended to fill the intelligence. In God's light it is for us re see light. Truth regarding God and man, and regarding God's relation to man, is communicated in wonderful and abundant measure to the truth-seeking soul, and especially by him who is "the Truth."
2. Divine love is intended to fill the heart.
3. Divine authority is intended to control the will - the active nature of man.
4. And Divine service is intended to fill man's life, so that the words of God may produce their perfect fruit in the actions and the habits of man. - T.
All My words...receive in thine heart.
What is in the head may soon be lost, but what is in the heart abides. Books locked up in the closet are safe, and truths laid up in the heart are secure (James 1:21
). They must first put out of their hearts filthiness, malice, wrath, whatever had possession of the heart, and kept out the Word, and open their hearts to entertain the Word. The heart is the ground this seed will grow in. David knew this, and therefore hid the Word of God in his heart (Psalm 119:11
): and why there? "that I might not sin against thee." This corn will not let the weeds grow: when the Word is in the heart, it keeps under all corruptions, it makes them languish and come to nothing.
TopicsCarefully, Closely, Ears, Heart, Listen, Moreover, Open, Receive, Speak
Outline1. Ezekiel eats the scroll4. God encourages him15. God shows him the rule of prophecy22. God shuts and opens the prophet's mouth
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 3:10-11
5548 speech, divine
LibraryCæsarius of Arles.
He was born in the district of Chalons-sur-Saone, A. D. 470. He seems to have been early awakened, by a pious education, to vital Christianity. When he was between seven and eight years old, it would often happen that he would give a portion of his clothes to the poor whom he met, and would say, when he came home, that he had been, constrained to do so. When yet a youth, he entered the celebrated convent on the island of Lerins, (Lerina,) in Provence, from which a spirit of deep and practical piety …
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places
Boniface, Apostle of the Germans.
BONIFACE, or Winfried, as they called him in Anglo-Saxon, born at Crediton in Devonshire, in 680, deserves to be honoured as the father of the German Church, although he was by no means the first who brought the seeds of the Gospel to Germany. Many had already laboured before him; but the efforts which had been made here and there did not suffice to secure the endurance of Christianity amongst the many perils to which it was exposed. Christianity needs to be linked with firm ecclesiastical institutions, …
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places
Epistle xxxiv. To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse .
To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse  . Gregory to Venantius, &c. Many foolish men have supposed that, if I were advanced to the rank of the episcopate, I should decline to address thee, or to keep up communication with thee by letter. But this is not so; since I am compelled by the very necessity of my position not to hold my peace. For it is written, Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet (Isai. lviii. 1). And again it is written, I have given thee for a watchman …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
The Greatness of the Soul,
AND UNSPEAKABLENESS 0F THE LOSS THEREOF; WITH THE CAUSES OF THE LOSING IT. FIRST PREACHED AT PINNER'S HALL and now ENLARGED AND PUBLISHED FOR GOOD. By JOHN BUNYAN, London: Printed for Benjamin Alsop, at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry, 1682 Faithfully reprinted from the Author's First Edition. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. Our curiosity is naturally excited to discover what a poor, unlettered mechanic, whose book-learning had been limited to the contents of one volume, could by possibility know …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
The Servant's Inflexible Resolve
'For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set My face like a flint.'--ISAIAH l. 7. What a striking contrast between the tone of these words and of the preceding! There all is gentleness, docility, still communion, submission, patient endurance. Here all is energy and determination, resistance and martial vigour. It is like the contrast between a priest and a warrior. And that gentleness is the parent of this boldness. The same Will which is all submission …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Iranian Conquest
Drawn by Boudier, from the engraving in Coste and Flandin. The vignette, drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a statuette in terra-cotta, found in Southern Russia, represents a young Scythian. The Iranian religions--Cyrus in Lydia and at Babylon: Cambyses in Egypt --Darius and the organisation of the empire. The Median empire is the least known of all those which held sway for a time over the destinies of a portion of Western Asia. The reason of this is not to be ascribed to the shortness of its duration: …
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9
The Prophet Jonah.
It has been asserted without any sufficient reason, that Jonah is older than Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Obadiah,--that he is the oldest among the prophets whose written monuments have been preserved to us. The passage in 2 Kings xiv. 25, where it is said, that Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, prophesied to Jeroboam the happy success of his arms, and the restoration of the ancient boundaries of Israel, and that this prophecy was confirmed by the event, cannot decide in favour of this assertion, …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
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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