And he said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them.…
God makes unusual manifestations of his glory to men, to qualify them for extraordinary service. The opened heavens and the voice of Divine approbation, on the occasion of Jesus' baptism, were a preparation for the desert conflict. The transfiguration of our Lord on the mount was designed to qualify the disciples for arduous spiritual toil. Ezekiel found it right pleasant to receive higher revelations of God's Person and God's will, but irksome to the flesh to convey that will to his brethren.
I. THE SOURCE OF AUTHORITY. The splendid manifestation of God, recorded in the first chapter, was intended to prepare and loftily Ezekiel for this difficult undertaking. The God of heaven, who dwelt amid such splendours, and who had such a magnificent retinue, condescended to employ this timid "son of man" as his ambassador. Whenever an envoy has been sent by his monarch to a foreign court, on a momentous errand, he has been sustained by the consciousness that he represented, in his weak person, the honour of the monarch and the strength of the whole empire. So Ezekiel had been admitted to the court of the celestial King, and was honoured to bear the commands of the eternal God. No other authority could be compared with this. Having revealed to his ecstatic vision the glories of the heavenly King, the Sovereign's voice broke graciously on the servant's ear, "Go, get thee unto the house of Israel."
II. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE MESSAGE. "Speak with my words." The first task the prophet had to perform was with himself. It was a necessity that he should repress and subject self. He must overbear his timidity. He must mortify his pride. He must forego personal tastes and predilections. This done, his task was simple. He was to be spokesman for God. He was released from the perplexity of inventing suasive arguments or selecting fitting words. All the material for reproof, expostulation, counsel, appeal, was furnished by God himself. On every occasion the prophet was required to speak in the name of the Sovereign, and to use this formula, "Thus saith Jehovah."
III. THE RESISTANCE ANTICIPATED. At first sight, it would seem as if the prophet's mission were an easy one. To convey a further disclosure of God's will to his own people would surely be a most welcome thing. If they had accorded to Moses almost reverential honor, will they not display a similar disposition to another prophet? Moreover, the people were now in the extremity of trouble - in the depths of affliction: would they not the more readily hear a message from their God? A singular doom was awaiting such bright hopes. Surface prospects were indeed favourable, but the most formidable opposition was thinly veiled. No foe on earth is so terrible to face as a depraved human will. As metals, that have been repeatedly heated and cooled, cannot easily be made ductile; so, under much gracious treatment, the heart of Israel had become hopelessly hardened. It is an unalterable law of Heaven, that kindness abused becomes the heaviest curse. Yet no measure of opposition was to deter the prophet in fulfilling his duty, or he, too, would experience the curse of disobedience. Though he was forewarned how resistant would be his auditors, his commission was unmodified, his task unchanged. If no advantage should accrue to the house of Israel, large advantage would accrue to the prophet, as the result of his fidelity - large advantage would result to later generations. Difficulty is not the measure of duty. Service for God bears fruit in unexpected directions.
IV. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT IS PROVIDED BY GOD. In our warfare for God we may find encouragement in the superior resources of our Master against all assailants. Truth is mightier than error all the world over. Righteousness is mightier than wickedness. We have an ally in the conscience of our foe, if all his passions be against us. Best encouragement of all, God's strength is mightier, more durable, than the might of allied humanity. The conflict may be long, but final conquest is sure. Special equipment, too, is provided for special difficulties. "To the froward God will shrew himself froward." If his enemies show a brazen face, God will give his servants a forehead of steel. If they mail themselves with flints, God will provide his defenders with breastplates of adamant. "My grace is sufficient for thee;" "As thy day thy strength."
V. THE TRUE PROPHET IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF GOD'S UNIVERSAL ARMY. He does not labour alone, nor contend alone. The Spirit of God is upon him - fortifies him on every side. Angels rejoice in the appointment of human ambassadors. The great forces of the universe work along with the servant of God. The living creatures cooperate with God's soldiery. As we go forth to the battle with sin, we may hear behind us the rustling of the heavenly wings, and the music of the heavenly wheals, and the chorus of sympathizing saints, "Be ye faithful unto death." The battle is not ours, but God's. The cause with which we are identified is most honorable. Our Master is the King of heaven. We act in alliance with the noblest spirits in the universe. Complete triumph is predestined. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.