Then the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and spoke with me and said to me: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. And you, O son of man, surely they will put ropes on you and bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them. (Ezekiel 3:24:25 NKJV)
|Behind the Word – bind –(Hebrew) ‘acar pr aw’- sar (Strongs 0631) Nephal – to be imprisioned.
Imagine that you have learned that your family has a deadly disease and that without treatment they will all perish. Spiritually broken by the news you turn to God. In your anguished prayer, He speaks to you and whispers the great news that an uncomplicated cure exists. No doctor will be required. There are no negative side effects from the treatment. The positive effects of the medication is instantaneous. You run to your family and tell them this wonderful news. Their sickness will soon end. You arrive, breathless, and tell them…. but no one will listen. You repeat and repeat and repeat the simple message, but none will listen and you are forced to watch in frustration as many you love die unnecessarily.
This was the life of Ezekiel. His family, the Israelites, already captured and suffering under Babylonian rule, were sent a simple curative message from God through Ezekiel. All they had to do was receive the message and act on it, but they refused. It frustrated him. And you, O son of man, surely they will put ropes on you and bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them.
I know a woman born Amish who at 17 heard an evangelist at a Mennonite church share the Gospel, and the Lord saved her. Her Amish family didn’t believe it possible to confidently state that Jesus has saved, so they shunned her. That was thirty years ago. She lives in the same area. As the horse drawn buggies pass her home, she often recognizes family and friends. She waves, but they look right through her as if she doesn’t exist. She has been bound and gagged in her own community by believing the simple message of the Gospel. She has accepted her life and guided by the Lord she has built a wonderful new life with many friends. She still loves and prays for her family, but to them, she no longer exists. She is bound by their rejection.
Ezekiel was figuratively imprisoned by the closed ears of his beloved nation. It takes a very special relationship with God to sustain and support you when you are bound by rejection. Occasionally we are all called to deliver a message that will be rejected. Many times I have experienced a spiritual shunning where people I once called friends avoid me to avoid God’s message. Often people called by God find such an economic change that by virtue of not having enough money to participate as they once did in many social activities, they are effectively politely shunned.
The binding of human rejection can have two effects. Many cannot stand it, and they compromise their call in an effort to offset their suffering. But for most, the rejection simply binds them more tightly to the heart of God.