Eat This, Preacher

Ezekiel 2-3 conveys to us the commissioning of Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry. It is full of instruction for today’s preacher.

In chapter 2, God tells Ezekiel two time in ten verses, “speak my words to them whether they listen to you or not” (my paraphrase). Preacher, preach the Truth. Preach the Truth if they listen and respond. Preach the Truth if they ignore you and continue to do evil. Do not mix the Truth with any lie in hopes that they will listen. Mix it with love and preach it regardless of the hearers response.

In chapter 3, God gives Ezekiel instructions on receiving and delivering the message. “Eat this scroll” (3:1). That seems a bit strange. The instruction for today’s preacher is clear. Eat this, Preacher. Be full of the Word. Read your books. Read your blogs. Listen to other preachers. Scan the news for illustrations. But above all else, be full of the Word.

Don’t stop there, Preacher. After God fed the Word to Ezekiel, He advised him to allow the Word to sink deep into his own hear first. “Listen to them careful for yourself” (3:10). Preacher, if you are not preaching the sermon with your life first, it will not be effective when you preach it with words; regardless of how much they shout.

Now that you are full of the Word and your life has been changed, you are ready to preach to others. “When you receive a message from me, warn people immediately” (3:17). Warn the wicked that they must turn from their sin. Warn the righteous that they must not turn away from their righteous behavior. This is your task, Preacher. You will be held accountable.

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