Note the qualifying words "as" and "but". The comparison is that of the appearance and the actuality of behavior. These people came to hear Ezekiel's messages "as if" they were truly God's people wanting to hear from God, but had little or no intention of actually "doing" what they needed to do. They were unwilling to make adjustments in their lives in order to conform to what God was saying to them.
In verse 32, we read that they "talked the talk", but their hearts went another way. They looked on the preaching as entertainment; they talked about the preacher, but did not take his messages seriously.
In verse 33, God assures Ezekiel that the time would surely come when they would recognize that a prophet HAD BEEN (past tense) among them...but that realization would come too late.
Today, preaching and worship seem to have become more "man centered" that "God centered". Church services, in some places, are more entertainment oriented - a time to make one feel good, rather than a time for worshiping Who God is and to hear His word with a heart bent toward obedience. Those who do preach faithfully "thus saith the LORD" are often ridiculed, not taken seriously and even ignored...until it is too late. (Think of Noah's faithful preaching and the response of the people...then the door of the ark was shut!).
In John 4, Jesus spoke to the Samaritan Woman and said that "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth". Worship is not only that which we give to God in the form of praise, but that which we give because of Who He is and for what He has done for us. Worship has to do with our attitude, which in turn affects our values, i.e., worship is to become a way of life, not just a Sunday morning activity.
Perhaps singing "Wonderful Words of Life" by Philip P. Bliss will help keep these thoughts fresh in your mind today.
2/5/2018 01:38:57 pm
This reminds me of listening to Joyce Meyers. I know Lee enjoys listening to her, and sometimes her message speaks to me. The problem I have is she is always fishing for applauses and has to sell something at the end of each program.
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