an uncomfortable messenger


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an uncomfortable messenger

Ezekiel 4:4-8 (JDV)

Ezekiel 4:4 “Then lie down on your left side and place the violation of the house of Israel on it. You will bear their violation for the number of days you lie on your side.
Ezekiel 4:5 For I have assigned you the years of their violation according to the number of days you lie down, 390 days; so you will bear the violation of the house of Israel.
Ezekiel 4:6 When you have completed these days, lie down again, but on your right side, and bear the violation of the house of Judah. I have assigned you forty days, a day for each year.
Ezekiel 4:7 Face the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it.
Ezekiel 4:8 Notice, I will put cords around you so you cannot turn from side to side until you have finished the days of your siege.

an uncomfortable messenger

I thought about calling this post “the lying prophet” but decided against it.

The message Ezekiel had to give would put him in an uncomfortable position for over a year. He had to lie down on his side for 390 days (symbolizing the exile of Israel) then switch sides and lie down again for another 40 days (representing the exile of Judah). His difficult days would also represent the horrible siege of Jerusalem. The Lord actually tied the prophet in place for this to assure that he did not turn.

The numbers are significant. The total (430 days) correspond to two different periods of 430 years. It matches the years Israel was enslaved in Egypt, and it also matches the number of years between the captivity of Jehoiachin (597 B.C.) and the Maccabean revolt (167 B.C.). This was bad news — in that it predicted another long period of slavery to Gentiles. But it was also good news in that the slavery would not be permanent.

Anyone who has ever been bedridden knows how uncomfortable this experience must have been for the prophet. He was bearing the violation of these people, so being uncomfortable was required.

The message you and I are called to share is good news, not bad. But sharing the excellent message may at times cause some discomfort for us. We need to trust the one who called us to share. He knows how to reach those who will inherit permanent life.

LORD, give us courage to do what must be done to pass on your message — no matter how uncomfortable we may feel doing it.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !
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