Ezekiel 2 has the prophet standing before God as a common man in the midst of a glorious and almighty God. Ezekiel is not unique and special, and the text addresses him as a son of man. “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you”! God certainly has a job for him to do which is to carry His message to a very rebellious group of people. “I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day”. God uses ordinary people to do his extraordinary work. It’s not going to be as simple as telling them what God says and watching them snap to obedience.
God doesn’t send him in his own strength. What God originates, God orchestrates. God tells Ezekiel the key is to represent Him, not try to deal with them without the very power of God. His personal wellbeing would be at risk here because he has to carry a message they absolutely do not want to hear and definitely do not want to heed. “I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’” God captures the state of the situation clearly – these are grownups but they are acting like children. They are not accidentally disobedient to His ways – they are choosing to do what they want. Sin is always that way – a choice we make.
Ezekiel’s job is to speak God’s truth. He is not charged with convincing them. He is charged with delivering God’s truth and not giving up. And God challenges him not to get caught up in their wayward choices. “As for them, whether they listen or not —for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them”. Ezekiel is not responsible for their reaction to the message – only to deliver it in a way consistent with God’s truth. “You shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not , for they are rebellious”. His job is not to convince but to deliver. We sometimes try and take on God’s role when in fact we can’t be responsible for how others respond to His truth.
Ezekiel has a tough job. The people don’t want to hear God’s truth and certainly don’t see their sin. But God helps Ezekiel see things from His perspective and recognize the sin from God’s viewpoint. “Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it. When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe”. God’s word was penetrating his own heart and will give him a mission that drives him to stay the course and work to help people see their situation. Persistence will be one of his key traits as he serves God as prophet and spokesman.