This week I have been reading in Ezekiel 3. There is a word here for men as they continue their walk with the Lord and want to live the life that God desires for them.
God had called Ezekiel to be a watchman for the nation of Israel while in exile and had given him a word to preach. God told Ezekiel in verses 8-9,
“8But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.” (NIV)
First, we need to understand who they are, who apparently has a hard head. God is talking about the nation of Israel and their rebellious attitude. The Hebrew word used here for “hard” means “strong, usually in a bad sense, hard, bold, violent.” The people in exile were being stubborn in their behavior. God was sending Ezekiel to the Israelites to warn them of their behavior, both those who were being wicked and those who were righteous.
God told Ezekiel He would make him as unyielding and hardened as they are in his mission to warn them of their behavior. In other words, God was making Ezekiel as hard-headed as those he would be speaking.
Men, what I take from this is that we, too, need to be unyielding and hardened toward the gospel message. We need to be like Ezekiel in our mission to warn this world of their behavior and how it has separated them from knowing God.
It first begins with our family. As Dad’s, it is our God-given responsibility to train our children. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:4,
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (NIV)
The word exasperate is also translated as “provoke,” which means to anger or enrage” your children.
The Bible also teaches us that the words we speak to our children will determine their destiny. Proverbs 18:21 says,
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” (NIV)
So are you going to speak life in your child’s life, or are you going to speak condemnation? I cannot imagine any Dad as a Believer who would want to speak anything but life, training them and instructing them in the Lord.
Then we need to be prepared to speak to those we meet in our daily endeavors. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15,
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (NIV)
I pray you are hard-headed for the gospel, and you will not allow anything to deter you from speaking the truth of the gospel. Starting with your family, then into the world.
Ezekiel was assigned the responsibility to warn the people of Israel while they were in exile. We are given the responsibility to tell those we meet daily about God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ.
God told Ezekiel that their blood would be on his hands if he did not warn the Israelites about their behavior. If he did, he was not responsible for their demise if they chose not to turn back to God.
All of us will eventually answer to God for what we say and do. That means we must take responsibility for our actions rather than blame others or make excuses.
So, men stand for the truth of the Word of God and be hard-headed – but in a gentle and respectful way.
Remember men, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:13,
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (ESV)
To the challenge and adventure to disciple every man – Mike