If God commanded you to do “strange” things that will make you appear “weird,” would you do it? In the book that bears his name, we see the prophet Ezekiel willingly obeying God, though others thought him crazy as a result. Ezekiel not only preached God’s message but went so far as to also act out God’s attitude towards the captives of Judah. He literally lived out what he preached! Ezekiel’s obedience to God is a direct contrast to Judah’s rebellious heart.
Ezekiel’s ministry took place during the captivity of Judah. God used the Babylonians as an instrument to discipline His people. Ezekiel the priest was among the 10,000 Jews held captive as mentioned in 2 Kings 24:10-14. His calling as a prophet of God was described in the first three chapters. He saw a heavenly vision and beheld “a figure like that of a man” (Ezekiel 1:26), the “appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD” (Ezekiel 1:28). No doubt this is the glorious appearance of none other than the Lord Jesus Christ! Truly, “in the beginning was the Word”– God who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1). Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God is revealed in human form so that through Him, we might be saved from our sin (John 3:16; 14:6-11; Acts 16:31; Romans 6:23).
Ezekiel preached God’s message to the Jewish captives. As he preached, he was commanded by God to act out God’s attitude towards His people (Ezekiel 24:24). These actions served as signs of things to come. Ezekiel, for example, laid on his left side for 390 days and on his right side for 40 days (Ezekiel 4:4-8). He shaved his head and beard (5:1-4). He shook as he ate his bread and as he drank (12:17-20). He became mute for a season (24:25-27). Indeed, the things Ezekiel had to personally demonstrate in obedience to God were not easy. Perhaps the most difficult was the act of not mourning for his wife upon her death (25:15-24).
Ezekiel has demonstrated for us the importance of obeying God’s commands, even when, in our own estimation, they make no sense. Indeed, God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). God is God. His Word is true. He does not change but remains faithful, even when people choose not to believe (Ezekiel 3:10-11; Malachi 3:6). He does not unduly expect us to understand, but He wants our obedience.
How are we? Are we passionate in our devotion and obedience to the Lord or are we more concerned about what others might think or say? May Ezekiel’s example stir our hearts and cause us to wholly follow the Lord.