We’re studying Ezek 2:1-3:3 in this lesson. Ezek 2:5 says, “And they… shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.” There are several things that we see in this passage concerning Ezekiel that are true of God’s prophets.
A prophet hears from God – Ezek 2:1-3 – God spoke to Ezekiel. He first told him to stand upon his feet. Typically, when men see the glory of the Lord they fall upon their faces, Ezek 1:28, as in Jos 5:14, Dan 8:17, and Acts 9:4. The spirit entered into him and set him upon his feet, as in Dan 8:18. Then God told him what to do.
In Ezek 2:8-3:3, God gave Ezekiel the roll of a book to eat. These were written words that God wrote. And they were lamentations (expressions of sorrow), mourning (expressions of grief), and woe (a condition of deep suffering). God was getting Ezekiel ready to tell the rebellious house of Israel about their coming trouble.
When Ezekiel ate the roll, it tasted like honey, Ezek 3:3. This is what manna tasted like, Ex 16:31. God gave Israel manna to prove them and to make them “know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live,” Deut 8:3. When we read the words of God we should be fed by them spiritually in the same way that our body is nourished by the food we eat.
A prophet is sent by God – Ezek 2:3-4 – God sent Ezekiel to the children of Israel to prophesy. Being sent by God to a particular people or to particular place is typical of God’s prophets. See Jer 1:7, Jon 1:2, Is 6:8-9, etc. And God warned Ezekiel that the people to whom he was being sent were rebellious, impudent, and stiff hearted.
A prophet speaks God’s words – Ezek 2:4 – The Lord said, “thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.” In Ezek 2:7 God said, “Thou shalt speak my words unto them.” Unlike false prophets who speak lies and thoughts from their own hearts, God’s prophets tell the truth and repeat what God told them to say. Look at the warnings in Deut 13:1-4, Deut 18:20-22, Jer 14:14, etc. The prophet must say what God said and not what he thinks they want to hear.
A prophet can’t fear his audience – Ezek 2:5-7 – Ezekiel could not regard their response. The Lord told him to preach regardless whether they would hear of forbear. The one thing they would know for sure is that there had been a prophet among them. This statement reminds me of Ahab and Micaiah, 1 Ki 22:7-8.
God said, “be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words… nor be dismayed at their looks.” These are the same instructions that God gave Jeremiah in Jer 1:8, 17. A rebellious people can be hostile toward the preacher. When they don’t like the message they take it out on the messenger. They killed most of the apostles, Paul, Jesus, and many Old Testament prophets, Matt 23:34-35.
The reference to briers, thorns, and scorpions in Ezek 2:6 is a reference to the wicked men to whom Ezekiel will be preaching, Mic 7:4, Song 2:2, and 2 Sam 23:6, for examples.
Conclusion: we should be encouraged and admonished by these words. We live in a rebellious nation. Yet, they still need to hear God’s words and we can’t be afraid to tell them exactly what God said, regardless how they receive it. They must know that there has been a prophet among them.