“Then He said to me: ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 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 3:4-7).
The people that Ezekiel would be sent to speak to would not be of the world, but religious people. They were of the house of Israel. God tells Ezekiel that they aren’t going to listen to him, because they wouldn’t listen to Him! Samuel, if you remember, faced the same situation. In 1Samuel 8, the people wanted a king. They had rejected God as their king. Samuel felt like they were rejecting him but God told him that it was God Himself that they had turned their backs on.
Noah preached over 100 years and no one responded other than his own family. Jesus Christ was rejected while on this earth, and crucified for preaching the truth. Stephen, in the book of Acts, spoke to the crowd and reminded them how their fathers had ignored the prophets and/or stoned them. They then proceeded to do the same to him.
The point is, it isn’t just the world that rejects God. Those who profess a love to God will not heed His words. All of us as messengers feel discouraged as folks won’t listen and we take it personally, just as Ezekiel, Samuel, and Stephen. Imagine how God feels as He is the ultimate law-giver and Creator at this type of attitude! How did Jesus feel?
Let us try to do what we can and promote God’s word and Christ our Savior. Let’s not take the rejection personally. And, please, don’t blame others as being ineffective or uncaring because folks don’t respond as we wish they would. Folks haven’t been listening to God for thousands of years. Only a few have listened. I suspect that long after we are gone, that trend will continue.
Clarendon church of Christ