"Whether they listen or fail to listen ... they will know that a prophet has been among them." Ezekiel 2:5
God at times calls on persons to undertake heavy tasks. Consider this assignment of Saint Paul: "This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name" (Acts 9:15-16). This is what God said of Saul to Ananias, who was to baptize him.
The prophet Ezekiel was called to a difficult and discouraging task. He was to preach repentance to Israel, a rebellious nation. Ezekiel was to know in advance that God's Word would be rejected. He might well have asked, "What's the use, Lord?" Ezekiel was to go and preach, the wall of unbelief notwithstanding. He was to do this for this reason: "They will know that a prophet has been among them" (Ezekiel 2:5).
The Lord, even today, sends His missionaries into the world, knowing full well, as these missionaries know, that many who hear God's word will reject it. Then why go and preach? Jesus said, "This Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations" (Matthew 24:14). This is the witness God bears to all mankind: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). Some will harden their hearts in sullen unbelief. Yet God wants them to hear this message. Having heard it, they will never be able to fault God for not giving them the opportunity to hear the truth of the Gospel.
You may not be in Ezekiel's position as a prophet. You are in a calling, perhaps as a parent, spouse, family member, housewife, wage earner, or worker in many fields. To you it may seem that your work and words as a Christian witness are in vain. Should you quit? Not at all. You continue to be Christ's witness by word and deed. You keep on saying that Christ Jesus is the Son of God who died for all sinners and then rose again. Why do this? So people will know that a Christian witness has been among them.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus for my redemption. Help me to continue to be Your witness. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)