Ezekiel had a tough gig. He was called by God to be a prophet. His specific role was to remind the people of the covenant’s that existed between God and his special people. Specifically he was to remind them of the Sinai covenant where God laid out the expectations of his rescued and redeemed people Israel when they had received the covenant blessing of the promised land. He was to remind them of the richness of the covenant blessing bestowed upon them by God, on the one hand; and the consequences for breaking the covenant on the other hand. In doing this he was to urge the Israelite to return to covenant faithfulness, or face the consequences. Ezekiel’s role was to remind them what was written in the law.
The image in Ezekiel 9 is striking whereby writers are commissioned, not to write and copy the law as would have occurred back in Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon’s day, but to now inscribe on the foreheads of those who were being unfaithful to the covenant law. In doing so they would be marked for the covenant consequence – death.
I can almost feel the quill pressing into my own forehead as my unfaithfulness to God is revealed through holding my life up against the light of the written word.
Who would want to be a prophet?….
Me! You! Everyone who has put their hand up to say “I’m in. I want to come under God’s covenantal promises made through the blood of Jesus.” And so we not only check our life and doctrine closely, we also check our brother’s and sister’s life and doctrine closely as well.
Yet thankfully for us, the price for covenant failure has already been paid fully in Christ’s own succumbing to the sword. We now have been marked not by the quill of the judgement writers but by the mark of Holy Spirit.
I, for one, do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit, but want the covenantal promises to shine through me.