Ezekiel 33 We have become a culture in which blameshifting and judging is as commonplace as yesterday’s news.
The exiles come to hear Ezekiel’s preaching but then behind his back they gossip about his words—and who knows what else. Many go to “church” and say what a great message, but later tear the preacher apart. The preacher’s message was clear; “Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds!” Instead, they say, It’s not my fault we are in this fix! If it isn’t your fault, whose fault is it? Or, others say: God isn’t fair. Really? How about your fairness to God when you hear what to do and don’t do it? James says if you know what to do and don’t do it, it is sin.[James 4:17] And then there is this argument: See, I told you, there is no hope, what’s done is done. Are you deaf? God is not willing any should perish. The answer is to turn and repent of your sin!.
All of this sounds so familiar. What goes around comes around. Pilate heard Jesus say I am the truth and scoffed: what is truth? Instead of listening he turned and walked away thinking he could just wash his hands and all would be well. The exiles were like Pilate.
Dr. Constable is right: When we are fairly comfortable it is easy to listen to preaching and to critique the preacher but do nothing in response to what he has said.