Summary: Like Ezekiel let us speak God’s Word humbly, faithfully, and boldly.
Called by the Lord to Speak His Word
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit strengthens us to speak God’s Word faithfully is Ezekiel 2:1-5
He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ’This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen – for they are a rebellious house – they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 2:1-5 NIV)
This is the Word of the Lord.
Dear friends, whom the Spirit has called to faith in Jesus:
A windstorm, lightening, fire in the sky. Unearthly, angelic creatures flying swiftly beside wheels covered with eyes. Above them an expanse sparkling like ice and a rumbling, rushing roar. Above all something like a sapphire throne and on that throne someone like a man, aglow, ablaze, in a rainbow-like radiance.
That’s what Ezekiel saw before the voice of the Lord called him in the reading above to be his prophet. The Lord called Ezekiel directly in this display of glory. He called him to speak his Word.
My call to serve you as your pastor came on ordinary paper – not quite as spectacular on the surface. But listen to what it says: “We trust that you will recognize in this CALL the voice of your Lord Jesus Christ.” Although God’s voice did not call me directly as he called Ezekiel, his voice did call me through you. He called me to speak his Word.
You, too, have been called to speak God’s Word. You haven’t been called to shepherd God’s flock like a pastor does. You haven’t been called into the public ministry to speak God’s Word in the name of other Christians, unless on a limited basis as a Sunday school teacher, elder, or church councilmen. But you have been called to faith “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). That’s what the Lord teaches us through the Apostle Peter. As Christians, you and I are to speak God’s Word, declaring his praises.
As we look at Ezekiel, as we look at pastors, as we look at ourselves as Christians, God wants us to speak his word. May the Holy Spirit enable us to speak his word humbly, faithfully, and boldly.
1) Speak his Word humbly – relying on the Lord
The Lord called Ezekiel to speak his word humbly, relying on the Lord. The sight of God in his awesome glory struck Ezekiel down to the ground. What was he compared to the Almighty? He was just a son of man. Man was made out of dust. Man had fallen into sin. Ezekiel was a son of man, born from sinner born corrupt and guilty.
The text begins with Ezekiel on the ground. The Lord gave him strength. Ezekiel writes, “He said to me, ’Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.’ As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me” (Ezekiel 2:1,2 NIV).
The gracious, forgiving Lord came to Ezekiel through his Word. Through God’s Word the Holy Spirit strengthened him and stood him up on his feet. Sinner though he was, Ezekiel could stand in the presence of the the holy God because Lord forgave him, as his word promised. The Lord gave Ezekiel the power to speak his Word. Ezekiel could speak God’s Word humbly relying on the Lord.
As a pastor, I need to be humble before the Lord and rely on him. Pastors face the temptation of feeling self-important. Thinking they’re in charge of a church can be an ego-trip. I need to see myself as a sinner, just as guilty as each of you. I am a son of man – nothing but dust, born from sinners. I need to see my only hope is my Savior, who died for me, just as he died for you. I need to see my strength only flowing from my risen Lord, who rules over all. I need to speak God’s Word humbly, relying on the Lord.
As Christians, you and I need to see ourselves as much as a sinner as those outside the church to whom we may speak God’s Word. In speaking God’s Word, we must fight against every ounce of self-righteousness in ourselves. Maybe we haven’t committed exactly the same sins, but your sins and mine are just as offense against God as theirs sins, if not more so, since we ought to no better. Humbly see your sin and then see Jesus, your Savior, who takes away your sin.