June 30, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. - Proverbs 4:16-18 NKJV.
“For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse-for they are a rebellious house-yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions….” Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside…. - Ezekiel 2:4-6; 9-10a. NKJV.
Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” - Ezekiel 3:1 NKJV.
A farmer in Iraq says that he eats a live scorpion on a daily basis. Ismail Jasim Mohammed says that he develops withdrawal symptoms if he goes a few days without eating a scorpion. Ismail is 34-years-old and has been eating scorpions for 15 years. He decided one day to try to eat one of them and liked the taste. Ismail admits that he has been stung several times inside of his mouth but has developed resistance to the scorpion venom. (NBC; Aleqt 05.29.13)
Hard to believe that anyone would attempt actually to eat a scorpion! Even harder to believe that someone could become addicted to eating scorpions! I know many people have scorpions in their homes at times and have to be watching for them. Ismail says that he keeps scorpions in his home so that he will have a supply even though his wife and children are terrified of them. That would be an unpleasant way to have to live your life.
Ezekiel may not have been eating scorpions, but God told him that he was living among them, meaning the rebellious Israelites. Ezekiel was given the difficult task of trying to witness to hard-hearted people. He did not have to go to a foreign land where people spoke a different language. Instead, Ezekiel was given perhaps an even harder assignment of trying to reach people speaking his own language.
Christians today are living among rebellious people somewhat like Ismail Jasim Mohammed, who refuse to stop eating scorpions. What am I talking about? We live among people like the Israelites who persist in eating, not scorpions, but evil (rebellion against God - Ezekiel 2 and 3). They are addicted to eating the scorpions of evil. As the writer of Proverbs 4:17 says, “For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.” Let us refuse to eat the scorpions! Instead, let us eat the bread of righteousness. As Ezekiel was told to “eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel” let us eat of the “bread of life (John 6:48),” and go witness to the people of our own nation.