There have been efforts in Congress lately to promote the shouting down of opponents so no one from either side can be heard. Of course, the danger here is that if someone has something important to say, there is a good chance that person will not be heard.
During the end of Judah’s existence in the divided kingdom, the nation almost as a whole decided not to listen to its prophets. Judah trusted its agreements with Egypt that if the Babylonians attacked, it would be defended. Judah was so certain it was right to trust the Pharaoh that it ignored the prophets of God, specifically Ezekiel in Ezekiel 29:14-21.
Well, Judah was wrong and the Egyptians seemed to be more interested in saving Tyre than the Jews because of that Mediterranean nation’s wealth. After a 13-year siege, Egypt took all of Tyre’s wealth Pharaoh’s ships could carry. Judah learned the hard way they should have trusted in God instead of an Egyptian treaty.
Ezekiel 29:14-15 demonstrates that the nation of the Nile would no longer enjoy prominence in the world. Verse 16 tells us Judah’s mistake of trusting in Egypt rather than trusting in God. Verses 17-20 say that although the Egyptians had taken Tyre’s wealth, the Babylonian king would receive the treasure of Egypt anyway because he was doing what God wanted.
Judah had closed its ears to its sin of trusting Egypt, and in a way had closed Ezekiel’s mouth, but during its 70-year captivity, it would remember how it had failed to give Ezekiel the right to be heard. Judah would learn a hard lesson that it should have trusted th LORD God and served him.
What does this mean to us? We must make certain our ears are open to the word of God. Sometimes, when we’re wrong or when we are caught in an error, we tend to ignore what God has to say. No matter how wrong we may be and no matter how tempted we are to ignore the truth, we must remember that closed ears gather no wisdom (Psalms 95:7-8).
We must remember we can make ourselves suffer unnecessarily when we stop listening to God. We prosper only when we do God’s will (Psalm 1:1-3).
God warned Egypt for centuries that it needed to repent, but it would not. He is providing us the same warnings to repent and follow him. Will we heed? God is giving us time and opportunity to repent. Will we do so, or will we be guilty of forcing the lips of God’s prophets closed?