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In Ezekiel's day the cry was heard-
"The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not" (ix. 9).
How this sound dings in our ears to-day! Some will say we are mistaken, and point, perhaps, to the universal weekly confession, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." But actions speak louder than words. The habitual conduct of those who make this confession betrays their scepticism. Believe in God, and worship Mammon? Believe in God, and delight in the world's amusements? Believe in God, and make no effort to curb the sinful impulses of pride, vanity, and temper? Believe in God, and embrace no opportunity to converse upon His Word? Impossible!
Those who are guilty in these matters are like Israel of old-they draw nigh with their mouth, and honour with their lips, whilst their hearts are far away. Let us not be seduced by the unbelief of the age. It is productive of every evil. Because of it the land, as in the prophet's time, is filled with iniquity and perverseness.
"Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, 'Who seeth us? and, who knoweth us?'"
Ezekiel lived on the eve of dire calamity and trouble. To announce this was a part of the prophet's mission. How the announcement was received is shown in the scoffing proverbs of the time:
"The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth." "The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are afar off."
How discouraging must this have been to Ezekiel! But how useful and comforting is his experience to us! Trouble and calamity, far exceeding that to which the prophet stood related, is immediately ahead. This is no speculation; God has most positively revealed it. His servants to-day know it, and are earnestly proclaiming it. But how few, very few, receive their testimony! The disposition of Ezekiel's time everywhere prevails. The false cry of "peace" is to be heard-"sudden destruction" will speedily follow. Because of these things the prophet's experience strikes home.
"Take, my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience."
Let us follow Ezekiel. Let us ignore the opinion of the multitude, and with confidence wait the fulfilment of the word that God has spoken. At any moment may the declarations again be realised:
"The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done." A.T.J
The Christadelphian, Jan 1887.