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The ordination of Ezekiel is continued through part of this Chapter. About the middle of the Chapter we find the Prophet beginning his ministry. The Prophet relates, how powerfully the hand of the Lord was upon him.
I beg the Reader to pause again and again, while going through the very solemn service of Ezekiel's ordination. What an idea doth it awaken in the mind of its importance. Though the Lord Jesus himself is the Bishop who layeth on hands: yet no haste is observed. With what earnestness is the Prophet reminded of his charge! Eating and feeling the effects of the roll, plainly set forth, how God's word is to be received, as well by ministers as people. The preacher that doth not first preach his sermon to his own soul, will feel no interest that it should be felt by his hearers to their eternal salvation. But those words are warmly delivered, which come from the heart. Jeremiah 15:16 ; Luke 9:44 ; Revelation 10:9 . What is here said of the Spirit's taking him up and carrying him away, may serve to teach faithful ministers of Jesus, how graciously the Lord, the Holy Ghost watches over them for good, and sends them forth to his service. Acts 13:2-4 .
I cannot but admire the silence, both of the Prophet and of the people, during the seven days waiting upon the Lord. When we come to enter into the retirings of the Lord, surely a silent, humble, solemn waiting until the Holy Ghost gives a door of utterance, seems to be but the necessary conduct of poor polluted sinners, coming into the presence of an Holy God. How blessedly the Prophet gives this charge to the people. Isaiah 41:1 . And what servant, what minister of the Lord, that reads the Lord's commands here given to the Prophet, but must feel concerned in all the exercises of his ministry!
The renewal of the vision by the river Chebar, seems to have been intended for the encouragement of the Prophet; and serves to show, what a gracious regard and attention the Lord is always manifesting to his ministering servants. It speaks the same language, though not in the same way as, in after ages, the Redeemer expressed himself by, when he said, Lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Matthew 28:20 .
How few, how very few would rush into the ministry unsent, uncalled, unanointed; did they but study the commission of Ezekiel closely, and well ponder over what the Lord here saith to him, of demanding the blood of souls at his hand, if found negligent and unfaithful! Surely it is enough to make the heart of the most upright and conscientious minister to tremble, lest after all his diligence, somewhat should he overlooked; some precious souls should be forgotten; or through ignorance or inattention, that which is lame should be turned out of the way. And what tremendous judgments must be in the final issue of that man's ministry, whose sole object is not to win souls, but the world; and like the unworthy descendants of the old Eli, desire to be put into the priest's office only that they might eat a piece of bread. Gracious High Priest and Bishop of thy Church and people! do thou send forth faithful men in thy service, and give, as thou hast promised, Pastors to thy sanctuary, after thine own heart and mind, that shall feed thy people with understanding and knowledge! Lord! make them what thou wouldest have them to be, and take both ministers and people, under thine own divine teaching, that they may be found faithful, when thou comest to take home thy Church, in the great day of account.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany