#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”
As a Christian Apologist, I know that the best way to figure out what a verse is saying is to read the verse in context, figure out who is being spoken to, and then figure out how/if it applies to me. In the case of Ezekiel 3:9, we need to look at Ezekiel 3:4-9 before we go any further; here is what Ezekiel 3:4-9 says:
“He then said to me: ‘Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.’”
When we look at verses 4-7, God is speaking to the prophet Ezekiel, and he tells Ezekiel to go the People of Israel, who are Ezekiel’s own people, and tell them what God wants Ezekiel to say. God acknowledges that the people of Israel will not listen to Ezekiel because they hare hardened and obstinate, and won’t listen to God himself. But then in verses 8-9, God promises Ezekiel that he will make him as hardened and unyielding as they are, and he commands Ezekiel to not be afraid of them.
For the past several months, I have been writing blog articles and producing video blogs on YouTube about the heresy of Old Earth Creationism, and exposing the hardened and obstinate nature that Old Earth Creationists have towards God and his written word. As I have engaged in arguments with Old Earth Creationists, I have found that no matter how clearly I quote passages from scripture that show that their OEC beliefs are wrong, and no matter how clearly I show that Jesus endorsed the Young Earth Creationism timeline of history, they will just ignore what I say or dance around the issue. On top of that, they attack my credentials, my knowledge of scripture, and some even accuse me of being a heretic because I submit to Jesus as my ultimate authority instead of a pastor at a local church. Hardened and obstinate doesn’t even begin to describe them.
Fortunately for me, the way that Old Earth Creationists have dealt with my arguments and have treated me has not deterred me in the least bit; the primary reason that this has been the case is that I am familiar with every argument from scripture that they try to make supporting their Old Earth Creationism beliefs, and so I have never felt the need to yield to them on anything related to scripture.
I find God’s promise and encouragement to Ezekiel to be very comforting to me, because God showed that he understands that some people will not be persuaded by our words, arguments, and our calls to repentance. In those situations, as we can see from what God told Ezekiel, we have to be faithful to God’s command to preach and evangelize to such people, and we need to not worry about what those people will do and say to us. God is in control, he knows who we’re dealing with, and thankfully, his offer of forgiveness extends to them just as much as us.
Let us all seek to be in right relationship to God, and make sure that our beliefs conform to his revelation to us.
Justin is a big fan of the Linfield College football program, and he attends a few of their home games ever year.