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             The prophets of the Old Testament gave their lives in preaching the Word of God. Men such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Amos, and the others. The prophets of old were like preachers of the New Covenant era, sometimes it was difficult to discern their true reason for listening. One of those prophets was Ezekiel. The prophet Ezekiel was told by the Lord that the people everywhere were saying to one another, “Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord” (Ezekiel 33:30). There was much conversation regarding hearing the message of the Lord as it was being preached and prophesied by Ezekiel. The outward indication that the desire to hear the Word of God was a constant desire in their hearts. It was said to Ezekiel “your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses, and they speak to one another, everyone…” (Ezekiel 33:30). Ezekiel a prophet of God speaking truth must have been very encouraged to hear these inspired words spoken to him.

          Not only did the people talk to one another about going to hear the prophet Ezekiel preach the Word of the Lord, but they went to hear him preach. There is always anticipation in the mind of the preacher regarding who will arrive to hear the message of God’s Word. Will the people arrive that need the message, or will that be the time when they will not be in the assembly or Bible study? The inspired message to Ezekiel was “So they come to you as people do, they sin before you as My people, and they hear your words…” (Ezekiel 33:31). There is great encouragement when brethren and others arrive to hear the preaching of God’s Word. As Paul wrote, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The coming together to hear the Word of God is for the purpose of developing and strengthening the faith of the hearer, Ezekiel must have been greatly encouraged to hear that the people would come to listen to the preaching of the Word of God. The Lord’s church assembles each first day of the week as is the Biblical example and command (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Hebrews 10:24-25) and in doing so is pleasing to God. When All is done according to the will of the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:24), then faith should grow and mature.

            The people talked about hearing the Word of the Lord and they assembled to hear the preaching of God’s Word, but there was something that they did not do. Something was lacking. The inspired message to Ezekiel also was “So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them, for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain” (Ezekiel 33:31). It was wonderful that they talked of going to hear the preaching and they arrived to hear it, but they did not carry out what they heard. The message to Ezekiel went on to say, “Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument, for they hear your words but they do not do them” (Ezekiel 33:32). Preach on preacher, preach on brother, teach the truth brother, we want the truth, and oh we love to hear it. That is what the people were saying to Ezekiel, but the message of God’s Word did not penetrate their hearts.

            That same situation was played out over and over throughout the Old Testament, on into the first century, and even until the time that we live in. Even today it is possible for the Lord’s church to talk about loving to hear the Word of God, assembling, and then not carrying out what God says. Let us not be as were the people in Ezekiel’s day, but let us love the truth and live the truth.