Seeking the ‘word of the LORD’ from the Prophets but not obeying the Word spoken’
by the Watchman Dana G Smith Is 21:6
Ezekiel 33:30 ¶Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
In the context of the scripture above we find Ezekiel, whose name means “God strengthens” being told by the LORD that there are people in his midst talking against him. Now this article is not about gossip. The people were speaking to one another “come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh from the LORD.” Now on the onset of reading this, you may think that is good. What is wrong with telling people to hear the word that cometh from the LORD? The reality here for Israel was they knew Ezekiel was a prophet.
Ezekiel had the “Hand of the LORD” upon him in seven different specifically mentioned places. You can find them (1:3; 3:14; 3:22; 8:1;33:22; 37:1; 40:1). This phrase was used to express how Gods Spirit came upon Ezekiel in Revelation. The prophecies of Ezekiel came to pass, thus the people saw this. They were impressed, you might say amazed! But the trouble we find is not that they sought out a prophet, not that they recognized that Ezekiel was a true prophet, not that they wanted to hear the LORD. The trouble was, they heard, saw, and did not do!
The LORD told Ezekiel that these people ‘come unto thee as people cometh, they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them’. The LORD went on to say these people ‘shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.’ In fact, the LORD also said that Ezekiel had become ‘a very lovely song, with a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument’, further the LORD said again ‘they hear thy words, but they do them not’.
Everyone wants to be listened too! At least that is the norm, I believe anyway. No matter who you are, if you speak, you want someone to hear your side. In Israel, this people knew religious ways. They kept feasts, went to the temple, made sacrifices, and did all the duties they were to fulfill. In this the Israelites did faithfully, but they did not know the LORD, nor do as he said. In fact over the years they combined abominations and idol worship with their regular duties in their faith.
The above verses come about as this Prophet of God has been speaking, and it came true, of the final fall and dispersion of the Jews from Jerusalem. Ezekiel was in Babylon prophesying to both the Jews in captivity and to the remnant in Jerusalem. Howbeit in all this judgment, the people were aware of what the Prophet spoke, they were impressed, they gathered around to listen to him. In fact, they sought out his prophecies and wanted to hear the current word of prophecy for the Day. The trouble in all this, the people’s heart to love and obey the LORD was not in this. Their heart was for their own means, motive, and out of covetousness. In short, just seek a true Prophet, hearing his words is not enough. It includes obeying. Add to this a true Prophet also brings people to confront sins, repent of them, and follow God in Obedience. None of this occurred in Israel. Some followed and obeyed, yes; but the majority did not.
So too, in America we swarm hither and yon to listen to men of God, prophets and teachers. The motives of many of these so called voices of the LORD are only truly known to them and the LORD Jesus Christ. Of these two, only the LORD really knows the heart. We are good in this churchianity of America and follow the Sugar Plum religiosity very well. Also true to form are the myriads of people seeking out to hear Prophets and find the current ‘word of the LORD’. The trouble again in America is this, not just hearing but obeying.
It is a real problem when we go to meetings, crusades, and all other forms of Christian gatherings and say the LORD is happy with us. It is trouble when many believers hold roots of bitterness, hatred, greedy, hateful, and fail to truly love one another and expect the LORD to be happy with our religious ways. There are multitudes of believers today who hunger to hear what a ‘prophet will say the LORD has told him or her’. Behind all this is our Americanized desire to control what we may not be able to. To understand what is beyond us. Of course there is always the personal motives to seek ‘prophecy’. But in all this, we can place ourselves right alongside Israel of Old. Yes, we have a new covenant, but it is administered by the same God and LORD. It is our LORD who said, “if ye love me, keep my commandments”. And again, “love one another”.
Many times we forget that even as Believers under a new covenant, it doesn’t mean we can forsake our LORD’s commandments nor go our own ways. Just read the first 3 chapters of Revelation. See what he says to the churches there! Today, understand that Israel is not so far from us after all. The Israel of Old had religious ways, a temple of God, holy things, visions, prophets, priests, and holy days. Yet in all their religious ways, they were rebellious, hard hearted, and in trouble. So too, as a believer today, do not only seek a prophet, a minister, or a Word for God. When that Word comes, then obey it! For with this obedience, is the true proof of your love. Why say you love God and do not what he says? Why say ‘thank You Jesus’ and do not follow him as LORD? Why look to the Christ on Calvary’s cross and not be willing to carry your own cross for the LORD?
I urge you today, to “press towards the Mark”, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us forget those things from last year, let us press forward in this year with resolve to not only seek, but when the LORD reveals and tells us, let us also do. For we must assuredly do this, “press onward”, carrying the cross, running the race, for our LORD’s Sake and our obedience to his known will.
Copyright 2009 WIBR/WARN Radio