When God speaks, everyone should listen because the message is for each and everyone who get to hear His word. The Bible reveals that for every living person, nothing just happens on its own but God, in one way or the other, leads us unto the truth. Therefore, it is never a mistake for you to hear the word of God. Scripture Union has an interesting guide on how we should let the word of God relate to us in the post – How to read and pay. You must reflect and apply the word to yourself.
The tendency is for hearers to pass the buck, expecting others to do something about the message but not them. In short, people will listen to God for the next person instead of focusing on themselves. Yet the Bible teaches that we (I) should not only be a hearer of the word but I must also be a doer.
In the Gospel according to Matthew 7:3, Jesus warned that for one to clearly see the speck on a brother’s eye, one should first remove the log in his own eye. It must be you first and then sharing with others what you have received from the Lord.
I will take the first 14 chapters of the book of Ezekiel as an example of multiple instructions that God gives against the prevalence of evil on those days. It is not surprising that almost all of these abominable practices recorded in those olden days still ensnares people even today.
God talks about the sins He sees in His people
In Ezekiel 2, the people are rebellious (v3), obstinate and stubborn (v4). God would drive them out of their land for this offense. He will cut off food supplies in Jerusalem. Food and water would be scarce (Ezekiel 4:16 – 17).
In chapter 5, Jerusalem had rebelled against the God’s laws and didn’t follow His decrees. God would let parents eat their children, and children eat their parents. A third of the people would die of the plague or perish by famine. A third would fall by the sword and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword. There is a lot more of punishments that God would release to His nation.
In chapter 8 verse 11 to 16, the elders of Israel were worship idols and the sun. God the promised to deal with them in anger and not spare them even when they pray for Him mercy upon their lives (v18). In chapter 9, God instructs for execution of all people that are idolaters. However, He called for that those who where grieving and lamenting over all the detestable things that were done in Jerusalem so that they can be safe from the killers. In chapter 12, the people of Israel did not believe that true prophecies from God were to come to pass in the near future (21). God then vows to fulfil all true prophecies without delay (v24).
In chapter 13, false prophets that do so from their imagination are condemned by the Lord yet the claim that their prophecies are from the Lord. In verse 10 God reveals that such prophets say that there is peace when in fact there is none. For this, God would send a hailstorm and torrents in Him anger to destroy the whitewash covered wall.
In the same chapter(13), God talks to the woman who sew magic charms on all their wrists. They ensnared God’s people and profaned Him. They had killed those who shouldn’t have died and let those who should have died live. God would stop them from seeing false visions and practicing their divinations. This would save the innocent people from these fabricated practices.
In chapter 14, God condemns idolatry in the hearts of men (v3). By so doing, they put stumbling blocks in their faces. God calls for them to repent and renounce their detestable practices. God will set His face against those who refuse to repent. In verse 10, God points out that the false prophet and the one who consults him/her will be equality guilty. Then God reveals that the righteous will save himself/herself by being so. He makes an example of Noah, Daniel and Job. In verse 21, the dreadful judgements of God are listed – sword, famine, wild beasts and plague.
In all these verses, God is angry at His people for their sins. You and I therefore cannot expect our case to be different. If you take a close look at each of these and more that you will find in the later chapters of Ezekiel, there is something for us to correct even today. Each one of us has something to work on to align our lives to the will of God.
I implore you as much as I take it upon myself to focus more on pleasing God with our own lives because it is only the righteous that can save his or her own life from God’s anger.