Taught that We May Teach
Ezekiel 40:4
And the man said to me, Son of man, behold with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I shall show you…


1. The Lord Jesus Christ does draw near in a very special manner to some of His people. He will show Himself to any of you who seek Him. He will unveil the beauties of His face to every eye that is ready to behold them. There is never a heart that loves Him but He will manifest His love to that heart. But, at the same time, He does favour some of His servants who live near to Him, and who are called by Him to special service, with very remarkable manifestations of His light and glory.

2. These revelations are not incessant. I suppose that no man is always alike. John was in Patmos I know not how long; but he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" on one occasion, and he specially notes it. Days of heavenly fellowship are red-letter days, to be remembered so long as memory holds her seat.

3. Yes, and it is noteworthy that the occasion of these manifestations was one of great distress. Saints have seen Jesus oftener on the bed of pain than in robust health.

4. It appears, in this case, that the manifestation to Ezekiel was made when he was put into an elevated condition. God has ways of lifting His people right up, away, away, away from mortal joy or sorrow, care or wish, into the spiritual realm. And then, when the mind has been lifted above its ordinary level, and the faculties are brought up by some divine process into a receptive state, He reveals Himself to us.

5. When He had elevated him thus it appears that He conducted him to certain places, for He says, "For to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither." God's children are brought in experience to unusual places, on purpose that they may get clearer sights of the love and grace and mercy of God in Christ than they could obtain elsewhere.

6. However, it is not outward circumstances that can affect the Divine purpose, there must always be a movement of the Divine Spirit. In the third verse you read, "He brought me there." We never learn a truth inwardly until God brings us to it. We may hear a truth, we ought to be careful that we do not hear anything but the truth; but God must bring that truth home.

II. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THESE CHOSEN MEN WHILE THEY ARE THUS FAVOURED. When the Spirit of God favours you with light, mind that you see; and, when there is a sound of grace, mind that you hear. We tell our children to learn their lessons "by heart." If we put the full meaning into that expression, that is the way to learn the things of God.

1. "See with thine eyes." What are the eyes for but to see with? He means this, — look, pry, search with your eyes. Looking to Christ will save you, but it is looking into Christ that gives joy, peace, holiness, heaven.

2. "Hear with thine ears." Well, a man cannot use his ears for any. thing else, can he? Ay, but hear with your ears. Listen with all your might.

3. "Set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee." Oh, but that is the way to learn from God — by loving all that He says — feeling that, whatever God says, it is the thing you want to know.

4. The Lord bids us do this towards all that He shall shew us. "Set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee!" We are to be impartial in our study of the word, and to be universal in its reception.

III. WHAT IS GOD'S REASON FOR MANIFESTING HIMSELF TO HIS SERVANTS? The object is this, — "Declare thou all that thou seest to the house of Israel." First, see it yourself, hear it yourself, give your heart to it yourself, and then declare it to the house of Israel. Dear brother, you cannot tell who it may be to whom you are to speak, but this may be your guide: speak about what you have seen and heard to those whom it concerns. Have you been in gloom of mind, and have you been comforted? The first time you meet with a person in that condition, tell out the comfort. Have you felt a great struggle of soul, and have you found rest? Speak of your conflict to a neighbour who is passing through a like struggle. Has God delivered you in the hour of sorrow? Tell that to the next sorrowing person you meet. Ay, but still this is not all your duty. God has shown us His precious word that we may tell it to the house of Israel. Now, the house of Israel were a stiff-necked people, and when Ezekiel went to them, they cast him aside, they would not listen. Yet, he was to go and teach the word to them. We must not say, "I will not speak of Christ to such a one; he would reject it." Do it as a testimony against him, even if you know he will reject it.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.

WEB: The man said to me, Son of man, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I shall show you; for, to the intent that I may show them to you, you are brought here: declare all that you see to the house of Israel.

A Good Intent
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