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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Ezekiel's Calling (Ezekiel 3)

The book of Ezekiel is hard to understand for two reasons: 1) Its structure is Hebrew thought rather than Greek thought, and 2) You have to slow down, read, and reread to really get what Ezekiel is saying. But when you take the time to do that, you will be abundantly blessed.

I have studied Ezekiel in great depth. Yet before I wrote this devotion, I read and reread Ezekiel 1-3, three times to make sure I was getting a clear picture of what is going on and to remember all the little nuggets of truth.

First we need to know the difference between Hebrew thought and Greek thought because we, in the western world, are Greek thinkers, and Ezekiel along with most of the books of the Bible, are written in Hebrew thought. Hebrew thought describes events and people in storyboard form using pictures, illustrations, and visions. The focus of Hebrew thought is "this is what's going to happen." Greek thought describes events in chronological order. The focus of Greek thought is "this is what's going to happen, when."

A great example of Greek thought is the gospel of Luke. Luke even tells us in Luke 1:1-2 that his purpose of writing, although others had already done so, was to give a chronological account of Jesus' life from birth to death and there after with the start of the church.

Luke was Greek and he was writing to a Greek official, Theophilus. Luke knew it would help Theophilus understand who Jesus is, if he could receive the account of Jesus' life in chronological order rather than in storyboard form.

So Ezekiel is written in storyboard form as he shares the visions God gave him and the prophecies he was told to act out to call the Jews in exile to repent.

Ezekiel wrote this book while in exile in Babylon around 593 BC. He received his first vision from God while sitting along the Chebar River in Babylon at the age of 30, the year he would have began to serve as a priest if he were still in Israel.

Ezekiel sees a majestic vision of God, whose appearance resembled a man, on a tremendous throne over a crystal surface with 4 cherubim with wheels under the surface, carrying the throne.

In this vision, God calls Ezekiel to service and commissions him as a prophet by having him eat a scroll which appears to have the words of prophecy Ezekiel will speak.

God tells Ezekiel that the people will not listen to the message that he shares but that he is to share it anyway.

Ezekiel 3:11, 17 [11] Go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them whether they listen or not, "Thus says the Lord God." [17] "Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me."

This passage goes on to say if you don't warn the people, their blood will be on your hands. But if you warn them and they refuse to listen, their blood will be on their own heads.

In May, 2013, when I studied the book of Ezekiel, Precept Upon Precept, with my friend, Debbie Blank, I can remember her standing there saying, "Has God called you to be a watchman?"

I sat there quietly with a rush of emotions coming over me and in my mind clearly and silently proclaiming, "YES!!!"

I remember walking out of that class that day and thinking, "Wow, that was a really good study" but not realizing what had just happened and that my life was about to change.

But now as I look back at the calendar I realize it was November, 2013, when God led my husband and I to start a Bible study in our home on Thursday nights. Fast forward to this year, 2022; that Bible study is about to begin its 10th year in November. We've had to move this study out of our basement and to our church facility, because we ran out of room. Then when we couldn't always meet in person over the last couple of years, we started using Zoom and Facebook Live. People all over the country and even as far away as South Africa have found our little Bible study group and watched our videos that we now post to YouTube. This year God also put it on my heart to do a Bible Prophecy Q & A Night, start this website with Bible Devotions and Bible Prophecy articles, and most recently have an opportunity to host a Bible Prophecy Radio Program for three weeks, teaching through the book of 2 Thessalonians.

To be honest, each new opportunity to serve God over the last 10 years has scared me to death. But today, as I sit here writing this devotion and reflecting back to May, 2013, when God used Ezekiel to call me to ministry, I now realize when I said "YES" that day, silently to myself, God was going to forever change my life and my priorities. As a woman, I will never be a pastor or an elder. But God calls all of us to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus' sacrifice in their place. Those who choose to say, "YES" to that call, He then calls to serve Him in various ways. He calls us to "Go and speak to people and tell them whether they listen or not, "Thus says the Lord God." Is God calling you to be a watchman on the wall? Will you choose to say "YES" to His calling?

Dear Lord, I pray for Your Word to penetrate someone's heart today just as Your Word has penetrated mine. Lord, I pray that whoever it is that You are speaking to right now, would say "YES" to You with every fiber of their being. I pray that they would turn from their sins, trust in Jesus with all their heart, and serve You in the way You are calling them to serve. Lord, I pray that they hear your voice right now. Lord, I pray that they say "YES" and get to reap the blessings of serving You, just as I have.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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