• Chris Steele

Hard-Headed and Hard-Hearted

Be Strong, Be Well — Friday, July 3

When God commissioned Ezekiel, He told him upfront, the nation of Israel was hard-headed and would refuse to listen to him. “…But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted” (Ezekiel 3:7)

Israel had hardened their hearts, but the word “impudent” in this verse is the one translated from the Hebrew word which means hard-headed. It’s difficult to imagine this term being used to describe God’s own chosen people—hard-headed and hard-hearted. But this was their mindset in the days of Babylonian captivity. You would think they would be humbled and penitent.

God flips this around by telling Ezekiel, “Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house" (Ezekiel 3:8-9).

God was going to make Ezekiel hardheaded, but in a different way, not as a bad person. God was going to strengthen the prophet to withstand the jabs, insults, stubborn impudence of these rebellious people.

Ezekiel was to become an “adamant stone.” He would be like a “diamond” that cuts other rocks. God was painting this picture of the prophet, cutting through the hardness of these people. They would not win. They would not beat him down. It would be the other way around..

We are going to run into a lot of stubborn and unreasonable people in this world. We still have the command to try to teach them God’s truths of salvation. We need to study diligently to put God’s word deep into our heart—making sure of what we know in scripture. And while we are teaching others, don’t allow them to discourage us or shake our faith—no matter what they say or what they do.

Only God knows who will allow the truth to enter the heart and soften their stubborn will. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

God tells us to keep teaching. Keep speaking the truth. And don’t allow anyone to discourage us or shake our faith. —Chris

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