In our study of Ezekiel chapter two, we will look at his call by God to a very difficult ministry. This can be a very inspiring study for those who are actively serving the Lord in a very difficult situation.
"He said to me, 'Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.'" NIV translation
At the end of chapter 1, we saw that the prophet fell on his face when he found himself in the presence (glory) of God.
Then, God addresses him as "Son of man" and this is a title that was only used for two men in the old Testament (the other was the prophet Daniel). This is the same title that was used for Jesus when He came into the earth. The first thing God tells the prophet is to stand up in His presence and this was not the custom of the Jewish people.
"As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me." NIV translation
"He said: 'Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day.'" NIV translation
The word used here for nation is not the normal word that God used to describe His people. It is, in fact, the word (goyim) that the Jews used to describe Gentiles. The rebellion of the people has gotten so bad that God does not even call them His people. It would be very tough to go to a group of people that have been in rebellion so long. The longer people go without listening to God, the harder it is for them to hear the things of God. It was true of the Israelites and it is just as true today.
"The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says.' And whether they listen or fail to listen - they will know that a prophet has been among them." NIV translation
This had to be a little bit discouraging to Ezekiel as God does not assure him that the people are going to heed his warning. Instead, God assures him that they will know that he was a prophet. This is a reminder for us as well that we are not responsible for whether people listen to the Word of God or not. We are simply to proclaim the Word and trust God to use it for His glory.