Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9 - Ezekiel 3

This passage can bring about a lot of guilt, as one thinks of whom one has not warned against their sin and how our love has been cold to them. Certainly, "On God rests my salvation and my glory" as the Psalmist says today, for it cannot rest upon my works. Yet Paul notes that we must not use this salvation as authorizing us to go back to sinning after forgiveness, for that would be to "presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience" (Romans 2:4).

But before chapter 3 ends, God says that Ezekiel must go shut himself within the house, and that God will make his tongue mute - which makes it pretty hard to warn the wicked and the righteous. The Lutheran Study Bible notes provide a resolution for what seemed like a contradiction to me - Ezekiel is to be God's watchman, not a morality cop. "As the following instructions will amplify, Ezekiel is to do nothing without God's explicit command, esp in public" (v 24 note). His muteness "is lifted whenever God speaks to him" (v 26).

Keep me from saying words that later need recalling;
Guard me lest idle speech may from my lips be falling;
But when within my place I must and ought to speak,
Then to my words give grace lest I offend the weak.
Lord, let me win my foes with kindly words and actions,
And let me find good friends for counsel and correction.
Help me, as You have taught, to love both great and small
And by Your Spirit's might to live in peace with all.
(LSB 696.3-4)

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