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Bible Commentaries

Simeon's Horae Homileticae

Ezekiel 2

Verse 4


Ezekiel 2:4. Thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.

ASTONISHING is the patience which God has exercised in all ages towards his rebellious creatures. After their wickedness had attained such an height that he was constrained to pour out his indignation upon them at the Deluge, he still deferred his judgments an hundred and twenty years, that, if possible, he might reclaim the world by the ministrations of Noah. At a later period, when he had chosen to himself a peculiar people, and with mighty signs and wonders had brought them forth out of Egypt, and they requited all his kindness with nothing but murmurings and disobedience; though their provocations were beyond all conception great, he bore with them for the space of forty years, and would not utterly take away his loving-kindness from them. Again, when he had sent his people into captivity for the multitude of their iniquities, and especially for despising all his reproofs, and persecuting all his prophets [Note: 2 Chronicles 36:16.], he still would not altogether abandon them, but sent his servant Ezekiel to preach to them in the land whither they were carried captive. In the words of our text we are informed what Ezekiel was commissioned to say unto them: it was emphatically this; “Thus saith the Lord God.” We do not suppose that this was the whole of Ezekiel’s message; but it was a peculiarly important and emphatical part of it: it was that which above all other things characterized the end and object of his mission. It is particularly to be noticed, that no specific message is annexed to these words; and that they occur twice also in the following chapter precisely in the same way [Note: Ezekiel 3:11; Ezekiel 3:27.]. Can we suppose that so peculiar a commission should contain in it no more than what appears upon the surface? Surely it must be acknowledged to be either very defective, or very comprehensive. To say that it was defective, would be to arraign the wisdom of God himself: we shall do well therefore to search into its real and extensive import. Three things then were evidently implied in it (which indeed are implied also in the commission given to ministers at this day); namely,


To declare God’s will—

[God has declared it unto us — — — And we are to declare it unto others with fidelity and affection — — — When objections are made to the word delivered, we must produce our warrant from the Holy Scriptures, and remind them whose word it is; “Thus saith the Lord God.” With this we ourselves are to be satisfied; and we must require others to regulate their views by the infallible dictates of inspiration — — —]


To assert His authority—

[We find men in a state of rebellion against God — — — We, as his ambassadors, are to offer them terms of reconciliation — — — If our terms be thought too humiliating, we must declare that God will never offer them any other; and that unless they accept these, they must inevitably perish — — — While we encourage them by representations of God’s mercy and love, we must also intimidate them with exhibitions of his justice, his power, and his truth — — —]


To seek, notwithstanding all our discouragements, the salvation of their souls—

[We must expect, that, if we discharge our duty aright, we shall meet with many and great discouragements: “briers and thorns will be with us; yea, we shall dwell among scorpions.” But “nothing is to move us,” “nor should we account even our lives dear unto us, so that we may but fulfil our ministry,” and be “pure from the blood of all men” — — — The saving of souls is the work committed to us; and we must prosecute that work, “whether men will bear, or whether they will forbear” — — —]

Learn from hence,

The importance of the ministry—

[God has ceased to impart his mind to men in a way of immediate revelation. His written word is that by which he now instructs the world: and he has set apart an order of men, whose duty it is to make known his revealed will. They are “not to teach for doctrines the commandments of men,” but simply to declare what God himself has spoken. In the execution of their office they are God’s ambassadors, yea, if we may so speak, his representatives: they speak to men “in Christ’s stead;” and the word they deliver, is “not theirs, but God’s.” Whilst then, on the one hand, we magnify our office, we ought, on the other hand, to say, “Who is sufficient for these things?”]


The duty of those who are ministered unto—

[When a minister is proclaiming, “Thus saith the Lord God,” the people should “tremble at the word;” and, whilst he “declares the whole counsel of God,” it becomes them to “receive it with meekness” and simplicity. They should not be offended at his fidelity, but be thankful for it. They would nut commend a watchman, who should leave a family to be burnt in their beds, rather than alarm them with the cry of fire; or a sentinel, who should suffer a camp to be surprised by their enemy, because he would not alarm them by giving notice of their approach: much less then should they approve of those who “prophesy smooth things,” and “speak peace unto them, when there is no peace.” “Those who have God’s word, must speak God’s word faithfully;” and those who hear it, should obey it cheerfully, and without reserve.]

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Bibliographical Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Ezekiel 2". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.