Have you ever had the Lord tell you to talk to someone or warn someone who you were sure would not listen, or would even deride you for what God has said? God has a purpose for speaking the words He speaks through you. He chose you out of everyone to be His mouth, His watchman, the guardian of His message. He chose the person to receive the message as well. What they do with the message is their choice and their responsibility. Your responsibility is to obey and speak as God directs you. You are responsible for the message He gives you. If you choose not to give it, because you are afraid of the reaction you might receive, you are responsible for your sin and their death. They might have accepted Christ, but if you don’t tell them about Him, how could they? Verses 7-9 put it this way,
“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8 If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.”
No matter how evil a person is, God loves him. God doesn’t want him to die in sin without a chance to be saved. He chooses us to be the custodian of His word. He gives us the message, the gospel, sometimes even a personal message and He fully expects us to have enough faith to obey Him. What is the worst that will happen if you approach the 300 pound leather clad tattooed Jack Daniel’s drinking biker and tell Him God loves him and Jesus died for him? Will He think you’re an idiot? Will he cuss you out? Punch you? Possibly? Don’t you imagine the Lord is with you in that situation? But the worst that will happen if you don’t follow the Spirit is that that man will die in sin and go to Hell forever separated from the Lord, His Creator and Savior. Your obedience might have made the difference.
We have no idea what the reaction to God’s word will be. They may listen, they may obey, they may not listen. They may say its malarkey. But God chose them to hear what He had to say, and He chose you to say it.
God had used Ezekiel as the watchman and warned Israel and Israel had ignored the warnings. After Jerusalem had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar, God opened Ezekiel’s mouth so that he was no longer mute, just as He had said and He gave them a prophecy. Verses 21-22 describe the day they heard about Jerusalem’s fall.
“In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been struck down.” 22 Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.”
The prophecy he gave the people is in verses 23-29. The Message says it like this,
“God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, those who are living in the ruins back in Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man and he owned the whole country. But there are lots of us. Our ownership is even more certain.’
25-26 “So tell them, ‘God the Master says, You eat flesh that contains blood, you worship no-god idols, you murder at will—and you expect to own this land? You rely on the sword, you engage in obscenities, you indulge in sex at random—anyone, anytime. And you still expect to own this land?’
27-28 “Tell them this, Ezekiel: ‘The Message of God, the Master. As sure as I am the living God, those who are still alive in the ruins will be killed. Anyone out in the field I’ll give to wild animals for food. Anyone hiding out in mountain forts and caves will die of disease. I’ll make this country an empty wasteland—no more arrogant bullying! Israel’s mountains will become dangerously desolate. No one will dare pass through them.’
29 “They’ll realize that I am God when I devastate the country because of all the obscenities they’ve practiced.”
The people whether they had been blatantly violent and rebellious or pretended to listen to Ezekiel to look good, would see all the events he prophesied come to be and they would know that a he really had been a prophet. Verse 33 reads,
“When this comes—and come it will!—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
Ezekiel spoke to the people who listened, who pretended to listen, who outright ridiculed him, and who openly refused the word. They may not have believed him at time, but imagine when that messenger came and told them the terrible news about Jerusalem, and imagine when they found out that Ezekiel was no longer mute. They knew then that He was from the Lord God. They had had the chance to repent, but had not. They had had the option to repent and save Jerusalem from the terrible fate she received, but they had ignored the watchman of Holy God. Their sins were on their head. Their blood was their responsibility. Ezekiel had obeyed. He had given them opportunity after opportunity to turn from their ways. He had warned them.
One day every person will find out that Jesus is the Word of God, the Savior, Emmanuel. Will they look back and say “Thank you God for sending Donna to tell me about you” or will they say, “Donna told me but I thought she was an idiot” or will they say “Donna knew and never told me I could be saved?”
A person’s response to the Gospel is his choice, just as your response to the Lord’s prompting is your choice.