Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Rebellious Nation

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.  And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.  The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’  And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.  And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words,though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.  And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.
 “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”  And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.
 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.
And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. (Ezekiel 2.1-3.4 ESV)
This is a lengthy portion of Scripture for my post, but it is relevant.  Ezekiel was charged with bringing a message to Israel, however, they were characterized by God as being a “rebellious house”.  If you look closely, God makes it clear to Ezekiel that He understands Israel’s rebellious nature.  After all, He led them through Egypt and the wilderness and they turned against Him anyway.  While He led them through the wilderness and provided for them they still complained and wanted to turn back.  They were an ungrateful people.
Israel’s history included following Molech- an evil demon god whose worship required child sacrifice.  Human sacrifice was common as was sexual perversion as “worship” to the false gods Israel cavorted with.  How could Israel turn on God when He did so much for them?  They had a foundation God built with Moses and Joshua!  They had the Ten Commandments and the Law to keep them on track.  They had the prophets to bring them God’s Word.  What buffoons.
Of course, to be indignant about Israel turning on God is in some ways hypocritical.  As a nation, we have turned our back on God.  He brought together great, not perfect, leaders- just as Moses and Joshua were great and not perfect.  We were given men of wisdom who wrote the Constitution of the United States and brought forth, not a democracy, but a Representative Republic.  They were blessed by God with wisdom.  Preachers were used to bring about revivals and a dependence on God during the history of the United States.  It was a great parallel to how God acted toward Israel (though the differences are real).  
The United States has been blessed by God like none other than Biblical Israel.  
What is the result? The United States has cursed God to His face.  We, as a nation, have spit in the face of God and are begging for judgment.  Israel had kings, we have presidents.  We have chosen our poison.  Our president has flaunted his support of sodomy in our armed forces and in every sector of the nation.  He, as many homosexuals, show no shame in boasting in sin.  ’To the devil with God’s Word’ is an attitude we see in the world.  We sacrifice our children (unborn) to the god of “choice”- Molech would be envious of the blood our nation has shed through unborn lives.  Evil.  We have called evil good and good evil.  Can the United States really expect to survive under these circumstances?  Not without a revived church!  The church, like the prophet Ezekiel, is called to bring forth God’s message whether the rebellious nation listens or not.
Individually, we have been blessed to live in such a nation of freedom, but now the nation needs to receive God’s message.  He has called on us to be witnesses.  He has called on us to live for Him and to proclaim His Gospel to the nation.  Will we be like Ezekiel?  God emphatically demonstrated Israel’s rebelliousness, but when Ezekiel was told to eat what was put before him- a scroll, not a steak, fried chicken or ribs,- he obeyed.  No questions asked.  
The contrast between the rebellious house and Ezekiel are black and white.  Is the contrast between the church and society the same way?  Is the contrast between us, individually, and the society the same?  Pray about it.  Then follow God’s lead (He will only answer one way- He has commissioned us already-Matthew 28.18-20).

Pete Garbacki is a minister with Time for Truth Ministries and Mission.Brasil. Follow him on Twitter @mission_brasil or FaceBook at

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