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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Messages for the Modern World from an Ancient Prophet is the theme we are working through and is based on Ezekiel’s prophecies.

This prophet lived in a foreign country during perilous times.

He found God to be very real and present, just as we can find Him to be today.

Today we are talking about Walking The Hard Road.


Ezekiel 2:1-3 NKJV

Ezekiel Called to Be a Prophet

1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 

2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 

3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.

Scripture Reading

Ezekiel 2:1-3:3 NKJV

Ezekiel Called to Be a Prophet

1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 

2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 

3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 

4 For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 

5 As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 

7 You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. 

8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

9 Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 

10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.

The Responsibility of the Prophet

3:1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 

2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.

3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.


In Jesus name we pray.



Last week e observed a despondent, disillusioned young Hebrew priest, Ezekiel, standing by the Chebar River in a strange and alien land where he and his people were captives.

He was at the point of saying, “What’s the use? God doesn’t love us anymore!”

The God sent a vicious dust storm down from the mountains, and Ezekiel saw the glory of God in a way that is found nowhere else in the Bible.

Through strange and weird symbols, God revealed Himself to His wondering servant.

After having had that incomparable experience, Ezekiel fell on his face before God.

He would liked to have stayed by the river to “soak in” all of that glory and radiance of God’s self revelation.

But God said, “No you don’t! Stand up on your feet Ezekiel! There’s work to be done. There’s a long road ahead with some rough stretches, and you must get prepared for it!”

Mountain top experiences with God are wonderful beyond expression, but the valley is inevitable, and we must be prepared to walk there in the strength of the Lord.

  1. First, in our passage, we find Ezekiel’s commission from God.

Ezekiel’s task was to deliver to his people a message of judgement.

It was a message to a people who believed that ha already been judged too harshly.

Judgement does not necessarily mean condemnation.

When Christians read the Bible with honesty and openness, they will find mirrors everywhere in which they see their shortcomings and sins.

This is God’s way of saying, “Alright, you’ve grown a little here, but look at that area of your life. You have a long way to go there! Some pruning and spiritual surgery are needed!”

This is not always a pleasant experience.

These Hebrew exiles to whom Ezekiel was instructed to deliver a message of judgement did not want to face their sins.

They felt sorry for themselves, and they wanted city instead.

Many of them were suffering, and to make matters worse, their brothers who had been left in Jerusalem were not having to bear the trials and heartbreak in this pagan land where they were being held captive.

So they were prone to say, “Lord, I’m having enough trouble as it is! I need Your consolation, not Your judgement! Don’t send more fire, Lord I need healing salve on the wounds I already have!”

But there is a danger involved in expressions of comfort and consolation, for we tend to want more than we need.

The truth is that there comes those times in the lives of God’s people when we must be forced to examine ourselves, face our shortcomings and sins, and repent.

So Ezekiel had a problem.

His people, like many today, were quite willing to believe in God as long as He was willing to sympathise with them in their hard times.

But they didn’t want to be told to repent of their sins, to examine themselves, to face up to their shortcomings.

They had had enough trouble already.

The lesson here for us, as well as for them, is that we are called upon to live our faith, not just under ideal conditions, but under whatever circumstances we find ourselves, even in the valley of the shadow of death.

And how did Ezekiel begin his bold program of preaching judgement and self examination to his people?

His first step was to call them back to a private and individual practise of their faith.

He stressed strongly a proper diet, prayer, and respect for the Sabbath.

Ezekiel knew that these things, while not ends in themselves, were vital aids to an inward and spiritual relationship with God.

We live in a day when there are many great and sometimes overwhelming issues facing us.

These issues are complex, but before we can be effective at all in exerting any significant influence as Christians within our society, we must see to our individual, personal, private lives and our relationship with God.

2. Second, after Ezekiel received his commission from God, we read of his equipment for service.

God had told Ezekiel what to do, and it wasn’t a very pleasant task.

But God didn’t leave Ezekiel there.

He said, “Here’s your equipment. Here is your power. Here is the strength in which you are to go.”

Note God’s honesty with Ezekiel.

He told him, in so many words, that it would not be easy to preach a message of repentance to a people who did not want to listen.

In a very vivid and graphic way, God warned Ezekiel that there would be “briers, thorns, and scorpions.”

By that, God meant that the people would often reject Ezekiel’s preaching, and there would be times when he would actually experience physical danger.

The “hand” represented God, and the “roll” (scroll), the holy words of God.

God told Ezekiel to “eat” the scroll.

When he did, it was as sweet as honey to the taste.

It is often the case that before we can taste “the sweetness of honey” in the Word of God, we must first apply the “bitter parts.”

They are the parts of God’s message that call for repentance and self examination.

The Bible presents a frank, realistic picture of human weakness and of the divine strength available.

See how the Bible describes the weaknesses, and well as the strengths, of great men?

Abraham was a liar, Jacob was a cheat, and Esau, a fool.

But that is not the whole story.

God touched these weak men and made them great.

They were not great within themselves.

Simply put, man has sinned.

This is precisely what man does not want to hear.

“I am not bad!” He retaliates .

“I am essentially good! Give me a good environment, give me food for my stomach and money in my pocket, and I will be good!”

But not so, sin is not just a “conditioned response to man’s environment.”

It is not just hereditary.

It is man’s fallen nature expressing itself.

There is one person in the world for whose life and destiny we are uniquely responsible.

Is that person measuring up to the full stature of which he or she is capable with God’s help?

If not, that person ought to repent.

This is the message of Ezekiel, and the same message runs throughout the Bible.

People do not like this message, they never have, and they probably never will.

But it is our only hope. 


If you have a look out in the Gold Coast Broadwater and also out at sea, there are large marker buoys anchored over reefs and dangerous areas, with lights attached that blink at night and sometimes bells that toll with every wave.

The buoy is placed there not to deprive boats of any freedom, but to show them the way to freedom.

To ignore the buoy could mean destruction.

The standards set forth in God’s Word are high ones.

In fact Jesus told His followers on one occasion, in Matthew 5:48, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

It would be difficult to find a standard higher than that one!

But what does a person want?

They want a relaxed, easy going moral code that makes no strenuous demands, a benevolent “grandfather God” in heaven who will smile on sins and shortcomings.

But instead if that, God sets a standard for us that is so high we can attain it only with His help.

When we are striving to reach that standard, we are possessors of a radiant joy and peace that the world can neither give nor take away.

Thus the message of Ezekiel is fantastically relevant today.

He said to his people, “wherever you are, in the valley of the shadow or on the sunny highlands, it is your duty to live your faith. And if you fail, then it is your duty to repent and move back into right relationship with God.”

And today it is through such Christian’s that God’s love is channelled into every corner, every nook and cranny, of this world.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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