The prophet Ezekiel was one of God’s great performance artists in addition to being a great preacher whom God used to symbolically act out his prophetic words. Ezekiel was ordered to make a miniature model of Jerusalem and lay on each side while tied up for a certain amount of time as he portrayed Jerusalem’s upcoming destruction (Ezek. 4:1-8) .
Ezekiel also prepared a meal to symbolize inhabitants of Jerusalem eating “defiled bread” during their impending siege (Ezek. 4:9-17). Then he cut off all his hair and his beard, divided it into thirds, and did something different to each third to symbolize three judgments against Judah (Ezek. 5). God also may have used the prophet to compose at least four musical lamentations (Ezek. 19, 27, 28, 32).
All of these dramatic, serious portrayals were done between his intervals of preaching. The captives from Judah he prophesied to in Babylon even witnessed some of his prophecies fulfilled, so they knew he was the real deal prophetically and that the Lord was true to his word. Yet for all of that, here is how he was viewed by the captives:
30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.
31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. Ezek. 33
They didn’t care for his godly message, but they viewed him only as entertainment and didn’t take him seriously. How often does that happen in our church services or in our secular or religious social gatherings? Such a response could have caused Ezekiel to quit, but he pressed on in his ministry regardless of the response because he was doing it all for love and the Lord’s glory.
When we know that we know God has a godly message for us to share, it is good for us to have the same attitude as Ezekiel. Even when people are dismissive of our genuine gospel message, seeing us simply as entertainment when our message has serious ramifications, reminding ourselves that it’s all for the Lord’s glory can keep us going through the discouraging times where we may not see the results we expect.