The prophet Ezekiel is told, “I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.” And if we were to continue reading, we would find that repeatedly the Lord GOD tells EzekielÂ to speak to the people in the midst of their rebellion, but to not be afraid. And then God says, “Surely if I sent you to them, they would listen, but…the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me…”
I picture Ezekiel knowing that the people are on a path of destruction. He knows the expectations of the Lord GOD. He knows the mandate of taking care of the widow, the poor, the orphan, the alien, the outcast…Ezekiel knows what God expects of God’s people: radical egalitarianism and Ezekiel knows the people are not upholding this expectation. Ezekiel is an interesting prophet though, because its like he knows that God will send the prophet to speak and if the people do not listen, do not repent, then GodÂ will remove God’s self from the people. Ezekiel seems to believe that God will become absent, missing from the life of the community if the community does not take heed.
“But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness…they shall die for their inquity.” Isn’t the abscence of God’s spirit from our lives a feeling of death?
The gospel tells us of Jesus sending the disciples, but if the “town won’t welcome you then shake the dust off your feet” and move on.
Sometimes we need to say what needs to be said and let God do the rest.