“And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment.”
Ezekiel’s message to Judah was not a new one. For years the prophets had been warning the people of the coming devastation upon Jerusalem if they did not turn back to God. The unique aspect of Ezekiel’s message was the way in which he declared it. In addition to traditional preaching, he used powerful visual aids. On this occasion he sharpened a sword, used it as a razor and shaved his head. Instead of sweeping up the hair and tossing it in with the rubbish, he divided it into three piles. Each of the piles were then used as props to help illustrate what would happen to the inhabitants of Jerusalem if they refused to surrender first to God and second to the Babylonian forces. The first pile of hair was burned while Ezekiel beat upon the second pile with his sword. These actions illustrated the fact that 2/3 of Jerusalem’s inhabitants would be killed in battle against the Babylonia forces. Ezekiel then took the third and final pile and threw it up into the air allowing the wind to take it away. This pile was used to illustrate that those who do not die in battle will be taken captive and spread throughout the Babylonian empire where they will live as prisoners of war.
It is important to notice that while Ezekiel in no way changed the message he received from God he did alter the way it was delivered. It was so important to the prophet that the people understood what he was saying that he brought props into the pulpit but it was also important to Ezekiel that the message never change. There is great value in spending time reflecting upon creative ways to share the gospel with others or to instruct them in the ways of God. Those who minister to children will see huge returns when they wrap the messages of the Bible in packages that grab the attention of the children.
If you have attempted to share Christ with a colleague, family member or acquaintance only to find that the message seemed to fall on deaf ears perhaps it is time not to alter the message but to prayerfully consider if there is a better way to package the message so they are intrigued. It is pretty rare for a person to come to Christ the first time they hear the gospel. It is often a process. Sometimes that process can be aided by taking the time lovingly consider a more effective way to share with the.