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Villagers in a town in India shaved a minister’s head, then led him through the streets on a donkey to mock and scorn him. Mockery often leads to violence: murder, burning, and other hateful actions. Yet religious intolerance is not new. God alerted Ezekiel that his ministry would be mocked and scorned—not only by people God sent into exile for their sins, but also by those left in the land, those who escaped exile. We read this in Ezekiel 33: “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying! So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!” God then gave Ezekiel a message for these mockers: God said, “When all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.” It’s not wise to mock God or His people.

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