“TOUGH CROWDS” – Sept. 19

September 20, 2013

“Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 2:6b

Imagine if I came to you and described the new calling of my life:

I am a little apprehensive but God has clearly told me what the next year, actually 430 days, of my life will be like. 

I have to camp out in the Church foyer while I build a little LEGOS replica of the City with tiny siege towers and mounds against the walls.  That will pretty cool.  Then, I need to get my Cabela’ iron griddle and put it up on edge, between me and my little City and stare at it.

All day long, I am going to lie on my side and stare at that griddle.  I get to switch it up; 390 days on my left side and then 40 days on my right side.  I wish it was equal so that my arms won’t shrivel up disproportionately.  Did I mention that I have to be tied up while I am lying on my side?  That will not be comfortable since my arms have to be bare.  

Meals will be a little complicated.  Prisoners get to eat better than me.  Bread and water is all I  will get to eat but at least it will be organic and Kosher.  God gave me a special recipe that uses wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer.  I won’t win any culinary awards but it is the only recipe I’ve got.

The key will be how it is cooked.  I have it all figured out.  The Church ladies don’t need to worry about me messing up the kitchen.  I’ve been instructed to cook my bread over a campfire; hopefully the foyer has good ventilation.  I still need to work on getting enough fuel to keep a campfire going for over a year. 

Did I mention that I don’t get to use wood?

Yeah, I have to use dung.  You know, poop.  It might sound a little gross but at least I get to use cow dung.  That is so much better than my first option.  God initially told me to use people dung.  I wasn’t really sure how I was going to gather that and I am sure the health department was going to have a problem with any method that I worked out.

Anyways, I have already started collecting cow-pies.  They are not that bad once they’re dried out.  It is the fresh ones you have to watch out for.  You really don’t want your cow-pies medium-rare.

Also, I am probably going to be pretty dehydrated by the end of all of this.  Do you have access to an I-V? I can only have  about a pint, 0.6 liters to be exact, of drinking water a day.  I know that is not the three litters that my doctor recommends but what am I supposed to do.  A good rationing plan should work.  I will need some of that water to get my dung-cooked bread down.  Well, I have plenty of time to figure that out.

As you can see, I am going to be booked for the next 430 days staring at that griddle, so don’t bother inviting me to anything.  What do you think?  Are you going to come stare at the griddle with me?

I can only imagine the responses that Ezekiel got when it became apparent what he was doing.  I am afraid that I might not have been very kind and maybe rolled my eyes at Ezekiel’s interpretive presentation. I have always found interpretive theater to be a little weird.  I doubt if my appreciation would grow after 430 consecutive days of watching the same sleeveless, bound guy lying on his side, staring at a griddle. I am probably not alone in my lack of appreciation.

English: Angry woman.

English: Angry woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ezekiel must have gotten sneers, eye-rolls, ridicule, and the deep exhales that power the fluttering lips of disapproval. It seems likely that God reminded Ezekiel not to be afraid of what the crowds where going to say to him and not to become discouraged by their arrogant looks because he was going to need that encouragement.  He was going to face an audience that would not understand the illustration.  He was going to have to face the critical reviews of those who simply rejected the message.

I have never been called to do anything like Ezekiel’s calling but God’s encouragement to Ezekiel is a lesson that most of us can learn from.

Consider the source of criticism.

It was a rebellious house that spoke words to make Ezekiel afraid.  Hard hearts contorted the faces which caused him to dismay.  Ezekiel was being obedient to what he knew God had called him to do.  The opinions of a rebellious house should not matter to him.

The spirit of that rebellious house is still alive and well.

We are all called to some form of obedience in our lives.  We are people of the word of the cross.  We will eventually run into people who do not understand our actions.  There will be people who reject what we believe.  Their disapproval of our faith will be very evident.

Consider the source of criticism.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor. 1:18

The criticism of those who are perishing should not matter to us.  They are from a house that is in rebellion to the King of kings.  We live for the One who has called us.  His opinion is the one that matters.  That is what we should remember when the discouragement of disapproving looks and words are sent our way.

PRAYER: Lord, you know that I have often modified my actions, changed my words, closed my mouth due to a fear of the opinion of man.  I have been discouraged by the words of those who hate you.  I have desired to be included when my beliefs have put me on the outside.   Thank you for reminding me of whose opinion really matters.  Father, I pray for those of that rebellious house.  I pray for those who think that I am foolish for what I believe.  Open the eyes of those who are perishing.  Use me to draw them to your Son.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. The Lord told Isaiah to walk naked throughout Egypt for three years. The life of the prophet many times IS the warning. The life we live for the Lord is a very powerful witness—and can definitely convict people of sin.


  2. Amen. Awesome prayer – Thank you!

  3. JD, I wrote a comment, but the program did not allow me to post it. Do you know why?

  4. Amen, open the eyes of those who are perishing LORD…and if you need to use me, I am willing.

  5. I love this! What a fantastic reminder to us as Christians to stand for what we believe in despite the hostility and ridicule, which gets quite tiring. The way you described what Ezekiel went through was quite sobering. If he were to do it now he’d be committed to a mental institution, “Oh right, so God told you to …”.

    Thanks for a great post.

  6. Our culture is into instant gratification. Extended obedience is much more difficult, especially in a hostile environment.

  7. Wow, what a vivid description of what Ezekiel was called on to do. Thanks for the profound reminder. I, too, wrestle with worrying too much what others think, and the Lord keeps telling me I can’t serve two masters. I’m thankful He’s not asking me to do what Ezekiel did!

  8. This is a good message and I totally understand and appreciate the message. I know I am continually challenged with the issue of what others think even at times with what other Christians think. that being said: should you start building the Lego house…I’m sure going to have to spend some time on my knees! Oh, and by the way Lord….please don’t ask me to help him build a Lego house and stare at a griddle…PLEASE!

  9. I appreciate the prayer

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