Two Traits of True Believers
And he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. Ezekiel 3:1
And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28
God called Ezekiel to be a prophet to His people during the time of the Babylonian Captivity. Like Jeremiah, he would get a cold reception from his hearers, the exiled Jews. The Lord commissioned Ezekiel to deliver a message, but with the assurance that he would not be successful in changing their hearts and minds. All who are called to serve God, are called first of all, to be faithful. Success is up to God.
The prophet embraced his calling. The Lord instructed him to “eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” He obeyed and found that--although the scroll contained a message of “lamentation and mourning and woe”--in his mouth it was “as sweet as honey.” But would his hearers agree? No, not at all. God had already warned him that they were a rebellious people, impudent and stubborn (2:3-7).
The Hebrews, faced with pressures and trials, needed reassurance of the sweetness of the gospel of Christ, which is superior in every way to the Old Testament priesthood. Jesus Christ’s High Priestly ministry resulted in a once-for-all dealing with sin and His exaltation into heaven where He intercedes before God on their behalf. They also needed reassurance that Christ would appear to them a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. The writer of the epistle gave them both of these reassurances.
Think about it
Two distinguishing traits of believers are: diligent intake of God’s word which they find sweet, and eager anticipation of Christ’s return which overrides the trials, distractions, and seductions of this world. We are not fully sanctified, but pray earnestly that these traits will describe you more and more.
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission
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