Read Ezekiel 2:1 – 3:15

v 6. Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious!

Here we go again! Ezekiel was living with the exiled Jews in Babylon even although Jerusalem had not yet fallen into enemy hands. ‘You be the messenger Ezekiel, but I must just warn you, they won’t take any notice of you.’ How’s that for an encouraging start for a prophet? And worse followed later on, he was struck dumb and still expected to be God’s messenger. In chapter 4 we find him acting out in dumb silence the siege of Jerusalem until someone gets the message. And then in chapter 24 the thing which, to my mind, elevates Ezekiel to a higher plane than almost all the other prophets.

Then this message came to me from the Lord:  “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.” So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do. Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?

The death of Ezekiel’s wife was the most poignant picture possible of the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. The prophet suffered most grievously in getting God’s message across. Who wants to be a spokesperson for God?