In chapter 12 of Ezekiel, the prophet proclaims that judgment is imminent, but the people will not believe. The important thing to note is the proclamation of the Word of God; Ezekiel is giving the Word of God.
The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying…
Five times in this chapter (vv. 1, 8, 17, 21, and 26) Ezekiel says, "The word of the LORD came unto me, saying...." Do you get the impression that Ezekiel is trying to tell these people that he is giving them the Word of the Lord? He is giving them nothing short of that....Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 12:1,2)
God had warned Ezekiel before about these people [Israel], but He is reminding him because Ezekiel may get discouraged. God said way back at the end of Israel's history,
Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. (Deuteronomy 29:4)
These people had their eyes closed and their ears stopped. Ezekiel was not the only prophet who confirmed this truth about these people — Isaiah (Isaiah 6:9,10) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 5:21) did also. In addition, the Book of Acts closes with this statement:
Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Acts 28:26,27)
They had closed eyes and ears.
Today, when people say they cannot believe, it is not a mental problem; it is a matter of the will of the heart — they do not want to believe. Some say they have certain "mental reservations," mental hurdles which they cannot get over. My friend, your mind is not big enough to take even one little hurdle. The problem is never in the mind but in the will. There is sin in the life, and a man does not want to turn to God; he does not want to believe Him.
Israel is just a miniature of the world; that is, the condition of Israel described here is the condition of the world today. In her spirit of unbelief, she was a little microcosm of the entire world. That is why we need to look carefully at what the Book of Ezekiel has to say.
—Adapted from J. Vernon McGee's Edited Messages on Ezekiel ©1982
Let’s remove our spiritual shoes as we stand outside the sacred Garden of Gethsemane and watch. Jesus went through a solemn, heartbreaking night of prayer and suffering. The mystery of this night is not ours to uncover, but we can show gratefulness to the Lord for His sacrifice. Worship the Lord at the gate of Gethsemane, even if we don’t know all the answers.All Sermons by Dr. J. Vernon McGee