Ezekiel 3

1˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see. Eat this scroll, and then go tell these things to the family of Israel.” 2So I opened my mouth and he put the scroll into my mouth. 3Then ˻God˼ said, “Son of man, I am giving you this scroll. Swallow it! Let that scroll fill your body.” So I ate the scroll. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. 4Then ˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, go to the family of Israel. Speak my words to them. 5I am not sending you to some foreigners you can’t understand. You don’t have to learn another language. I am sending you to the family of Israel! 6I am not sending you to many different countries where people speak languages you can’t understand. If you went to those people and spoke to them, they would listen to you. But you won’t have to learn those hard languages. 7No! I am sending you to the family of Israel. Only, these people have hard heads—they are very stubborn! And the people of Israel will refuse to listen to you. They don’t want to listen to me! 8But I will make you just as stubborn as they are. Your head will be just as hard as theirs! 9A diamond is harder than flint rock. In the same way, your head will be harder than theirs. You will be more stubborn, so you won’t be afraid of those people. You won’t be afraid of those people that always turn against me.” 10Then ˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, you must listen to every word I say to you. And you must remember those words. 11Then go to all of your people that are in exile. Go to them and say, 'The Lord our Master says these things.’ They won’t listen and they won’t stop sinning, ˻but you must tell them these things˼.” 12Then the wind lifted me up and I heard a voice behind me. It was very loud, like thunder. ˻It said,˼ “Blessed is the Glory of the Lord!” 13Then the wings of the animals began moving. The wings made a very loud noise as they touched each other. And the wheels in front of them began making a loud noise—it was loud like thunder. 14The wind lifted me and took me away. I left that place. I was very sad and upset in my spirit. But I felt Lord’s power in me! 15I went to the people of Israel that were forced to live in Tel Aviv by the Kebar Canal. I sat there among them for seven days, shocked and silent. 16After seven days, the word of the Lord came to me. He said, 17“Son of man, I am making you a watchman for Israel. I will tell you about bad things that will happen to them. And you must warn Israel about those things. 18If I say, 'This bad man will die!’ Then you must warn him! You must tell him to change his life and stop doing bad things. If you don’t warn that person, then he will die. He will die because he sinned. But I will also make you responsible for his death! Why? Because you did not go to him and save his life. 19“Maybe you will warn a person and tell him to change his life and stop doing bad things. If that person refuses to listen to you, then that person will die. He will die because he sinned. But you warned him, so you saved your own life. 20“Or maybe a good man will stop being good. I might put something in front of him that causes him to fall ˻(sin)˼. He will start to do bad things, so he will die. He will die because he is sinning and you did not warn him. I will make you responsible for his death. And people won’t remember all the good things he did. 21“But if you warn the good person and tell him to stop sinning, and he stops sinning, then he won’t die. Why? Because you warned him and he listened. In this way, you saved your own life.” 22The Lord’s power came to me. He said to me, “Get up and go to the valley. I will speak to you in that place.” 23So I got up and went out to the valley. The Glory of the Lord was there—just like I had seen it by the Kebar Canal. So I bowed with my face to the ground. 24But a wind came and lifted me up on my feet. He said to me, “Go home and lock yourself in your house. 25Son of man, people will come with ropes and tie you up. They won’t let you go out among the people. 26I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth—you won’t be able to talk. So those people won’t have any person to teach them that they are doing wrong. Why? Because those people are always turning against me. 27But I will talk to you. And then I will allow you to speak. But you must say to them, 'The Lord our Master says these things.’ If a person wants to listen, then fine. If a person doesn’t want to listen, then fine. But those people always turn against me.

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