I'll make your face as hard as rock, harder than granite. Don't let them intimidate you. Don't be afraid of them, even though they're a bunch of rebels."
Then he said, "Son of man, get all these words that I'm giving you inside you. Listen to them obediently. Make them your own.
And now go. Go to the exiles, your people, and speak. Tell them, 'This is the Message of God, the Master.' Speak your piece, whether they listen or not."
Then the Spirit picked me up. Behind me I heard a great commotion - "Blessed be the Glory of God in his Sanctuary!"
- the wings of the living creatures beating against each other, the whirling wheels, the rumble of a great earthquake.
The Spirit lifted me and took me away. I went bitterly and angrily. I didn't want to go. But God had me in his grip.
I arrived among the exiles who lived near the Kebar River at Tel Aviv. I came to where they were living and sat there for seven days, appalled.
At the end of the seven days, I received this Message from God:
"Son of man, I've made you a watchman for the family of Israel. Whenever you hear me say something, warn them for me.
If I say to the wicked, 'You are going to die,' and you don't sound the alarm warning them that it's a matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault. I'll hold you responsible.
But if you warn the wicked and they keep right on sinning anyway, they'll most certainly die for their sin, but you won't die. You'll have saved your life.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)