“Son of man, do not fear them. Don’t be afraid even though their threats are sharp as thorns and barbed like briers, and they sting like scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls. For remember, they are rebels! You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious!” - Ezekiel 2:6-7
Ezekiel was called to an incredibly difficult task. God was sending Ezekiel “to the nation of Israel, a nation that is rebelling against me. . . . They are a hard-hearted and stubborn people” (Ezekiel 2:3-4). The task would be difficult, but Ezekiel served an efficient, able God who promised to equip him.
Ezekiel faced a dilemma many of us face. He could easily have allowed the response of people to determine his words and actions. But God clearly warned him that the recipients’ response to Ezekiel’s message was not to govern the nature or manner of his ministry. God told Ezekiel to be strong and not react in fear and discouragement. Ezekiel knew that no one would listen, but he kept on speaking, leaving the out-come to God.
To whom do you need to speak a message of truth? A spouse, friend, or relative whom you know will be less than receptive to your words? What’s stopping you? The thought of their “dark scowls,” their angry faces? It’s not easy to say what must be said when you are risking alienation or hostility. It’s so much easier to follow a course of “peace at any price.”
We need not be dismayed by people’s angry looks. God promises to strengthen us. Obedience to God is the key, not only to overcoming our fear of people’s angry faces but to doing and saying the right thing in the right way at the right time to the right people!
For Further Study: Ezekiel 2:1-10
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.