The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 98 of 185
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contrast is to be noted, for example, in Dan. 8: 16, 17. Here the heavenly being, the
angel Gabriel is in contrast with, and speaking to "a son of Adam". God could have
chosen a heavenly being instead of Ezekiel: He chose a son of Adam to speak to the sons
of Adam: they rejected the message. Much later God spoke to them through a "heavenly
being", His Son, and the sons of Adam still rejected His message, so that "they are
without excuse".
Ezekiel's commission was, like others, to a ministry of failure, as is clear from
chapter 2: 3 - 3: 11.  Yet it was counterbalanced by the assurance of the ultimate
fulfillment of God's purpose for His People. Though there may be much to discourage
the man God calls, always there must also be the assurance of the final triumph of God.
The visions which came to the prophet came from God (Elohim), the Creator, and
Ezekiel's favourite name for God is Adonai Jehovah, Lord God as the A.V. translates it:
Sovereign Lord Jehovah. God was and is God of all the earth, and though the nation
might be held in captivity by their heathen enemies, their God was also the Sovereign
Lord of all nations of the earth, of their enemies. Though for the time being He had
discarded them for His purpose they were not beyond His influence and care.
In the course of his commissioning the "roll of a book" was spread before him
(Ezekiel 2: 9, 10). He is told:
"Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the House of
Israel" (3: 1).
Just prior to this he had been told "Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house:
open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee" (2: 8). In Josiah's "reformation" the book of the
law of the Lord had been found in the Temple. The nation had refused to `eat' it: they
may have heard the words when they were read to them, but they did not `digest' them.
Ezekiel was to digest the words of the law, and those words were to be the basis of all he
had to say. He says "then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness"
(3: 3). The `rebellious house' had rejected the book of the law; Ezekiel delighted in it.
So it is with all whom God calls. The call of the prophets of old, and of all whom God
has called, is related to historical facts to do with the current `people of God', related to
their needs and to their failures. Such men (and women) have a very clear concept of the
holiness and greatness of God, and of their own unworthiness before Him. Such can only
speak as they `hear' though their words may be offensive to those who hear them, and so
they are often commissioned to a `ministry of failure', though proclaiming at the same
time, as did the prophet Ezekiel the ultimate triumph and success of God. Fundamentally
the man God calls is one who receives and delights in God's Word.