Ezekiel was called to be a prophet.
“Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
It’s not easy to speak knowing that people will ignore you or toss you in a well or stone you.
But not all of us are called to be prophets, called to announce “Here’s what God says”. Some of us are called to be teachers. To explain and train. To talk with people who say, “But I don’t know how,” and offer direction and examples and guidance and feedback.
There are a couple of great examples of teaching. Jethro told Moses “Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave.” He was telling Moses to do what piano teachers, trainers and math teachers do.
Moses was responsible to live out God’s instructions himself. In the same way, Ezra committed himself to study, practice, and teach the Law (which we know as the law of Moses, but was actually from God).
Often, people get the roles of prophet and teacher confused. They assume that simply proclaiming something should be enough to help people participate. They assume that announcing is the best way to approach behavior change. Or they just like to be right and yell at people.
Maybe this is a good rule of life: unless God tells you to announce, try studying, living, and teaching.
More on teaching at Show People How To Live