Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought to yourself - this makes absolutely no sense at all? In fact, if what I'm reading is saying what I think it's saying, I'm not just confused, I'm downright angry!
I had that happen to me when I came across Ezekiel 3: 16 – 21. Check it out for yourself. My very loose paraphrase of it goes like this: God is speaking to Ezekiel and He says – if someone is doing something they shouldn't be doing and if you don't warn them about their actions and that person dies because of his sins, Ezekiel....I am holding you accountable for their death. Their blood will be on your head!
If you do warn them though, Ezekiel, things will go better for you. Whether they change their actions or not, either way, so long as you've warned them, I won't hold you responsible for what happens to them after that.
Whew! Ezekiel gets a break. Thank goodness I thought.
But what's all this talk about having to warn the people no matter what!? And if he doesn't, God is holding Ezekiel accountable for their demise!? That doesn't seem fair at all to me, not one bit!!
I was totally stumped and angry that God would ask such a thing of Ezekiel. You're supposed to be loving, kind, merciful, fair, patient and forgiving and all those wonderful things, Lord! This doesn't sound like you're that at all! What are you saying here? I don't get it I ranted !!
Then... an amazing thing happened! I get a vision. And once that vision played out...Well....You guessed it.... Everything made perfect sense!
In the vision, it seems like I have a bird's eye view. I can see to my left what appears to be villagers going about their business. Just ordinary people doing life.
To my right it looks like a desert. No trees. Nothing. Just way off as far as the eye can see, a vast expanse until on the horizon the sky touches the ground.
Wait a minute!...What's that?.... On the horizon?... It looks like a cloud of dust forming. It's getting bigger. I can't see them. But the rising dust makes me think it's the sign of people ....riding towards us... fast. Perhaps an enemy?
I feel a tad anxious. And it doesn't take me long to realize that the people in the vision on my left can't see what's coming. Oh my gosh! They need to be warned of what soon may be upon them. They need to do something!! Close the gate! Get some weapons! I don't know! But they should do something to protect themselves. This isn't looking good!
And then.... if you're following with me?....Do you get it now, too? It's all starting to make sense isn't it? Are you feeling what I felt?...that aaahhhhh! I get it now kind of feeling...like the lights just went on?
If Ezekiel is on the wall and he sees the enemy coming and he doesn't warn the people....of course.... without a doubt....their blood is on his head and rightly so. How could he not tell them? That would be horrible! To see those innocent people, taken unawares and he knew the whole time!? He could see the enemy approaching, and he doesn't warn them? ...Well...it just wouldn't be a pretty picture would it? Those poor people wouldn't stand a chance.
However, if he saw the enemy approaching and he warned them..good on Ezekiel! But what if the people said to him...thanks Ezekiel...But, we're cool....We're not concerned....Ezekiel says something like are you guys sure about that? I just don't have a good feeling about this. And they still say, naw, Ezekiel, you worry too much. Then ...He did his best, right? He can't do anymore than that, can he?
And did I ever stand corrected! God is indeed loving, kind, forgiving, merciful and so much more! He loves those people so much that he put Ezekiel in a position and a place to help keep them safe! His plans, provisions, ways are always the Best! He will stop at nothing in order to keep them ( us ) safe and from out of harm's way!
Perhaps a message we can take from this is that: We aren't accountable for what others do. But we are always accountable for what we do or don't do.
And... if you ever read something in the Bible that doesn't make sense.... just ask Him to show you what it means....And He will!!!