I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege. Ezekiel 4:8

Passages like this, where God has Ezekiel dramatically act out a prophetic message, are hard to understand if we take them completely literally. How could God tie Ezekiel with real ropes? Rather God is explaining to Ezekiel how he will enable him to lie still for long periods of time. Ezekiel will feel like he is bounded by ropes. It would also appear that Ezekiel will not be lying on his side all day as he is to bake and eat bread during this time (v. 9-12).

God’s enabling power is more comprehensive that we realize. Sometimes we think God only enables us to do things that are obviously beyond our ability. We don’t think about God enabling us to be still, or to carry out the normal functions of daily life. Yet every day we are called to be his witnesses, to persevere, and to produce spiritual fruit. These are areas where we need God’s help and he is willing to empower us. Yet we may be reluctant to access his support, thinking we can handle the minor issues of life, however God is always willing to empower and enable us.

God makes it possible for Ezekiel to perform this dramatization over a long period of time, even though, he must have found it monotonous and seemingly ineffective. There is no record of people repenting or seeking God as a result of his efforts. Nevertheless as Ezekiel trusted God, he was able to complete the task.

Likewise God will enable us to persevere in difficult circumstances, in boring situations and when we feel ineffective, if we trust him and ask.