So, Ezekiel is having this awesome encounter with his God. Like, super cool visions and he’s getting his mission from God. Ezekiel is ready to go anywhere, do anything and God lays this one on him:
Ezekiel 3: 5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
Zeek isn’t going to a far off land where, surely, they would listen to him and he’d have an awesome Kumbaya time. Nope! He’s staying right there in Isreal. Oh, AND it gets better…
Ezekiel 3:7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
So, they’re not even going to listen. Nope.
It got me to thinking: “Am I willing to do the things that God asks me to do even if they don’t succeed?” Like, am I willing to stay in a place that might never change? Might never turn to God?
It’s a real character question, isn’t it?
I mean, for a long time in the church, we’ve been kinda of told that if God is the skipper of the boat, then the boat will reach the intended shore. That’s a hard sell because sometimes, the boat doesn’t make it to shore. Sometimes, things don’t work out. What do we do then? Do we say (in hindsight) that God wasn’t the skipper? Do we blame the crew for not being totally vested in the trip? Do we blame the boat?
But here, in Ezekiel, God is saying that the itinerary has shipwreck ahead. He’s the one saying it. He’s sending Ezekiel out to do something that will fail.
Anyway that’s how it looks to this observer.
But what if the ship’s landing at it’s original port was not the intended destination?
What if the trip was for the crew? What if, by crashing upon some other land, there was something to be gained?
Would that make a difference? Would it change my answer? Could I continue on a mission that I knew would fail only to see, from a different perspective, that other gain was met? Something I could not see from my original vantage point, perhaps?
John 6:66 After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”68-69 Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”
Stay I shall.