Rebellion and Fear


Ezekiel 2:2-10

2 As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” 9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.”

I am sending you to a rebellious nation L :) There are times whether at home or at work that I feel I have been sent to a rebellious nation :) Yes, sometimes they are obstinate and stubborn, but I like the words of Ezekiel when he says “And when they listen or fail to listen, they will know that a prophet was among them.” Oops, better hold on there. Do you find yourself reacting to someone else’s frustration by being frustrated yourself? Do you find yourself reacting to another’s obstinate ways by being obstinate yourself? If we react to those around us like they react to us, how are we going to change the environment we are in?

Ezekiel goes on to say “Do not be afraid, though briars and thorns are all around you and you live with scorpions. Do not be afraid, or terrified of them.” Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid! I need to make this a mantra, because I feel my fear causes me to give up on love, give up on the way of Jesus and respond like those around me, to turn to fear as my support… and fear never supports or helps me move forward or even move at all. Do not be afraid, you are loved! You are loved! You are loved! I will add this to my mantra.

There are two sides to this story. We will be around those who are a rebellious people, but we may also be the ones who are rebellious. It may be you and I who need to be aware of the prophets around us. It may be you and I who need to listen for the word of GOD and follow, even change our ways. But whichever side we are on may we keep the mantra going. Do not be afraid, you are loved!

Precious Father, Loving GOD, Holy Spirit I pray for grace and compassion to listen to those around without reacting in worry or fear. Help me to discern, to repent, and to not be afraid… and know that I am loved! AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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