Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come! (Amos 6:1 NIV)
Writing on Bible prophecy that does not reflect the “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” attitude of the day is not the way to sell books. On the subject of the disaster God says is coming, it is rare to encounter a Christian who cares. The level of interest matters not, for the Word says, “Tell them anyway!”
The Prophet Ezekiel was among Judah’s first to go into captivity in Babylon. In exile, the Lord called saying,
“Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people I am sending you to are obstinate and stubborn… And whether they listen or fail to listen–for they are a rebellious house–they will know that a prophet has been among them… You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.” (Ezekiel 2:3-4a, 5, 7 NIV)
It should be mentioned that five generations earlier, Israel, the ten tribes making up the northern kingdom, were scattered by God in the Diaspora. Ezekiel was a Levite, a citizen of Judah. So why not say “I am sending you to the people of Judah”? To whom was Ezekiel called to prophesy?
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had already invaded Ezekiel’s land. Still many inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea remained. If the people of Judah acknowledged their sin and turned to God, the Lord would be gracious and show mercy. Jeremiah warned them, yet they would not listen.
This prophecy is a prime example of a major rule for accurate Bible interpretation: “Look for the near/far prophetic.” Was Ezekiel prophesying to America’s last days? The profile fits. The U.S. was born in rebellion. Today we listen only to what we consider “positive and encouraging”. So the prophet’s words fall on deaf ears. We warm to the false message of “Peace and Safety”.
Nevertheless, truth will be spoken by the prophets of God. Though few Israelites heed God’s warnings, they will be spoken or written anyway.
Who cares? God does or he wouldn’t be so insistent on calling his people to repent.