The Fire of the Spirit

Ezekiel 2:1–3:15 (NKJV)

2:1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

“And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.

3:1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.

And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.

After Ezekiel is overwhelmed by the awesome presence of the Lord, the Spirit picks him back up onto his feet and begins to share the prophetic message of the vision to him.  He warns Ezekiel that the people may not receive the word, but he must deliver it anyway.  He showed Ezekiel a scroll with judgments on it, and then told him to eat it.  When He did, it was sweet in his stomach.  This signifies the value of the Word of God.  When God speaks and you take it in, it produces blessings and sweetness to your inner being. Embrace the Word and enjoy its benefits. 

Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”

10 Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place!” 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. 15 Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

God continues to instruct Ezekiel, telling him to harden himself against the resistance of the people to whom he must speak.  The Lord uses poetic language to describe the resolve He will give the prophet.  He again assigns him to the task and then lifts him up by the Spirit and takes him to the River Chebar by means of the living creatures.  He then sits among the people for seven days, astonished at the vision.  God is an awesome presence.  He overwhelms and leaves in awe those who experience Him.  Ezekiel is no exception.  This vision or appearance of God, born by living creatures riding on fiery wheels would cause anyone to melt.  However, the presence of God–fearful as it is–not only cleanses and prepares His servants, but also empowers them.  Throughout the Bible, the Spirit makes people bold and courageous, and gives them the ability to speak for God Himself.  Embrace the fire, and walk in it, for in the Spirit there is power and victory!

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