"Who Are You, and Why Are You Here?"
- Written by Pete Phelan Pete Phelan
God gave Ezekiel the difficult task of presenting His message to ungrateful and abusive people. Sometimes I believe I’m in Ezekiel’s shoes when I try to deliver the Word of God to our inmates at HCJ. The Lord told Ezekiel to speak His words whether or not the people listen, and whether or not it is convenient. God called His people obstinate and stubborn because they would not admit their sin. I know the feeling. Our measure of success is not how well the people respond, but how well we obey God and whether we fulfill God’s purpose for us. God’s truth does not depend on how people respond. He will not judge us for how well others respond to our witness to our faith, but how faithful we have been. Last Sunday I was told that I’m not entertaining enough, and that I keep reading from the same book (The Bible) each week. Last week we were in 2nd Kings and 1st John 5. This week we’ll be in Ezekiel 3 and 1st Timothy 4. I think I’ll try to be more entertaining by telling a story of a rabbi named Akiva, who lost his way home and stumbled upon a Roman garrison. He was challenged and asked “Who are you, and why are you here?” Akiva responded, but then asked the guard to come with him and to ask him these questions each time he came and went. There are many times I ask myself, "Why are you going to spend time with obstinate and ungrateful people?" God always responds, "Who spent the time with you before you came back home?" So I am reminded when Ezekiel is told “I will hold you accountable for their blood’ and “you will have saved yourself," that I, too, am accountable to God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit for presenting His message and following His will.
On the Inside,