We like to eat, most of us do. We like to taste and enjoy different dishes, unlike Ezekiel who had to eat something else. Right after God’s Spirit strengthened him, by lifting him from off his face of shame. God gave him something to eat. “Son of dust, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll” (Ezekiel 3: 1).
Of all things to eat, God gave him the scroll. Ezekiel was in captivity, famine was up his heel. A nice meal would have been appeasing to his stomach, but God gave him something else. God gave him His word. Sometimes, physical food can’t help us much while we are in the ruins. Some people eat dishes piled high with palatable foods to pacify their ruinous circumstances; they pile high the food and they pile on the pounds. Some people eat little or no food, stressed from the strains of their ruins. Whether you are in the ruins or not, you definitely have to eat.
Ezekiel had some eating to do, and the first food God gave him was spiritual food…the scroll. How did that taste? “It tasted sweet as honey” (Ezekiel 3: 3). David confirmed that God’s word is sweet, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste, yea sweeter than honey to my mouth (Psalm 119: 103).
The word of God has the truths about YOUR ruins: Ezekiel had to eat up the scroll…God made sure that he ate all of it. God reveals each of our circumstances to us individually, through His word. He shows us our path through His word. He reveals His love, through His word. He gives us reassurance for our future and faith for our journey, through His word.
The word of God has the understanding YOU seek. Ezekiel had a lot to understand about the current ruinous conditions of Israelites. He also had to understand the general context of the ruins of sins. What Ezekiel had to teach was not just about and for the Israelites, it was about you and me, it was about our eternal future. It was also for our children and their children. He had to understand the futuristic and eternal implications of his message. How could he represent God in the ruins if he didn’t understanding for himself? In Ezekiel 3: 10, God gave Ezekiel the most important piece of instructions for his ruins and for any ruins.
- Let all my words sink deep into your own heart first: Ezekiel needed conviction, conversion and commitment to the cause of God. “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee,” is David’s commitment to the Lord in Psalm 119. The message had to penetrate Ezekiel’s heart. The deeper God’s word sank into his core, the more passion he’d have for the imminent mission. When God’s word lodges within our hearts, zeal for the things of God will flare up like an untamed fire. No hardship can quench it, no trial can out it and no doubt can dim the flame.
- Listen to them carefully for yourself. Ezekiel had to meditate upon the word of God. He had to contemplate the imminent path God choose for him. He had to believe the message before He could preach or teach it. He had to accept the conditions. He had to accept the responsibility. He had to accept the challenge. He knew it would be hard, that’s why he was angry and bitter. But soon, the glory of God would appease his anger, the blessings of God would transform his bitterness, the Spirit of God would dispel his fears and fit him for the work. Ask yourself, “What is God trying to tell me about ‘my’ ruins?”
The best thing to do while you are in the ruins is to pick up the scroll and eat all of it. Devour God’s word, and let the Spirit of God lead and teach you. Although we all are in the ruins of our world, and even if we both are in the same ruinous circumstances, God speaks to us individually. Job had to preach, so did Moses, so did Jeremiah, Joel, Hosea and Isaiah among others. They carried the same theme in their messages but God used them in different ways. The answers to your questions are in the word of God. The solution to your problem is in the word of God. The way out of your ruins is the word of God.
I pray that you will gather the utensils, set the table and eat up the scroll…all of it. Taste a bit of the honey. Devour the word of God.
Ps. You may not taste the honey right away, but you will eventually.
Prov 24: 13, “My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.”
Artwork: Avocet Brooks (Used with permission)