For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel, nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you; yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate. – Ezekiel 3:5-7
Even after He exiled them to Babylon, God characterized the Jews as “hardheaded and hardhearted.” Though a rebellious people, God still loved them and would not let them go, continuing to chastise them for their disobedience. Ezekiel had the great “privilege” of serving as the Lord’s mouthpiece for that rebuke and correction.
While it may seem that few hear God’s command to take the gospel to the unreached (where we are beginning to see breakthroughs) fewer still seem to be heeding God’s call to “stick and stay” in places where the hardheaded and hardhearted prevail. All Christ-followers, wherever or however they serve, must simply be faithful whenever He asks. As an overseas missionary, I certainly appreciated the prayers lifted on my behalf, but let us also remember those who continue to faithfully serve in their own version of “Babylon.”
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little. – Plutarch
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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