The tongue is a powerful tool and it can be sticky business at times. Ezekiel found that out when he was called by God at age 30. Ezekiel’s purpose was to warn the people of coming judgment and expose the nation of Israel’s moral depravity and absence of spiritual truth. We read in Ezekiel 3:26 that God made Ezekiel’s tongue stick to the roof of his mouth so he couldn’t talk. One time he couldn’t talk for 7 days (3:15) and another time for 7 years (33:21-22). During the 7 year period, God would only allow him to speak when he wanted him to give a message to the Israelites.
I find this fascinating and have been pondering this for a few days now. You see Ezekiel was a Watchman. The Hebrew word for watchman is zahar. A zahar is someone who is to warn or instruct, to shine, to be clear. A watchman was to warn cities against attack. Ezekiel was a prophetic watchman instructed to warn about divine judgment against sin. God made him a watchman over the house of Israel and told Ezekiel that when he heard a word from God’s mouth, then he was to to speak a warning to the people (3:17-18).
What if we all lived this way? I don’t know about you but my mouth gets me in trouble at times. Have you heard the old addage? You have two ears and one mouth in order to listen twice as much as you talk. There’s a lot of truth in that saying.
As New Testament believers, we are God’s watchman. We are to guide people toward Jesus and warn them about a life without Christ. If God only allowed me to speak when it was for his good, what would my life look like? What would your life look like? This is my challenge, the next time I want to speak and I know it’s not from God, maybe I will let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth until I clear it with God. Will you join me?