You will “know that I am the LORD”

The controlling feature of Ezekiel’s life was “the word of the LORD came to me” (forty-nine times in Ezekiel; see previous post here). It speaks of historical encounters. It occurred again and again in specific moments. By each experience, he was immediately constrained and restrained by “the word of the LORD.” It was a past event that of necessity governed and controlled his present and future moments.

But the even more frequently repeated demand that those who hear that word “will know that I am the LORD” (seventy-two times in Ezekiel) speaks of the effect the fulfillment of that word would have on those who heard Ezekiel. Each occurrence of the expression pointed to a future event. When “the word of the LORD” that came to Ezekiel (and which he then obediently spoke) came to pass, then those who heard him would “know that I am the LORD.”

That “the word of the LORD came to me” is a report of a personal encounter. It is a report of revelation given. But “will know that I am the LORD” is a divine guarantee about what will come of that revelation and those to whom it has been given. When God speaks it can’t not happen. When it does, those who heard it will later realize they missed the boat, they should have listened but didn’t.

“The word of the LORD came to me” is the moment for listening. You “will know that I am the LORD” is a moment of reckoning.

When “the word of the LORD came to” Ezekiel, he listened. When he spoke the Lord’s word to the people, they didn’t. Ezekiel already knew the Lord. His listeners didn’t. But their unwillingness to hear did not lessen the effective power of God’s word. It would come to pass and then they would come clearly to know the identity of Him who had spoken through the prophet.

There is no more wonderful moment than when God speaks His Word with Spirit-given illumination and understanding. There is no more dangerous moment than when God speaks His Word. Everything hangs in the balance.

So, again, open your Bible. Bow your head. Ask the Author of this book for light as your read. And then, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Psalm 95:7b-8a; Heb. 3:7, 15; 4:7).