The Watchman On The Wall
At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.” Ezekiel 3:16-21 NASB
Imagine your city and home have been attacked and you have been taken over seven hundred miles from your home to a foreign land, where you don’t know anyone, you don’t know the language or the customs. And to make matters worse, you were taken just before a time when you were to enter your chosen professional service. That is exactly what happened to Ezekiel. Taken to Babylon after the second siege of Jerusalem in 597 BC, he was among 10,000 who would be exiled by the River Chebar in the land of Babylon. Ezekiel would turn 30 just after his exile, and because he was of the priestly line, he would have served in the Temple in Jerusalem. But it was not to be. Rather, the LORD God had other plans for Ezekiel. He would be a prophet appointed to the exiles from Judah and he would proclaim the LORD’s words and judgements that he would see in visions. And also among his duties – be the watchman on the wall.
The Importance of Watchmen
Watchmen were an important part of the safety of the city at that time. They would see attacking armies or sojourning merchants and weary travelers. They were to be keenly aware of the sights they saw and to discern if the approaching caravans were friends or foes in disguise. If the watchman failed to discern an enemy had just breached the security of the city because he didn’t recognize falseness, his city could, and most likely would fall.
The LORD needed one whom He could rely on to proclaim His truth, for it had not been spoken in Jerusalem for a number of years, save by the prophet, Jeremiah, whom the people hated for his bad news and lamentations. So Ezekiel entered a new service for the LORD. His visions would carry him to the plains, back to the temple in Jerusalem and oh, the sights he would see. But he was also charged with warning the wicked that they were sinning. Now it wasn’t his duty to make them hear him; Ezekiel was only to proclaim what he saw – the iniquity of the wicked or the sin of a fallen righteous man.
We Are Spiritual Watchmen
So it is for us today. We are called to be watchmen. We live in dark times, were evil is called good and good evil. We are to proclaim the good news of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are to warn those we know and share with them. It is not our job to make them hear or accept, that is the role of the Holy Spirt. Our job is to never stop talking about our blessed hope, our redeemer, our Savior and Lord – Jesus Christ. And should we fail? Well, I believe the words of the LORD to Ezekiel could be words to us – to me – today; if one dies in his sin and we’ve not shared the good news of Jesus, well, his blood is required at my hand. When I stand before Jesus, will I feel shame for the poor witness I’ve been and weep over the souls lost for eternity, or will I instead receive a crown for sharing and loving people so much that I hear the words, “well done my good and faithful servant”? Will I be a watchman on the wall, proclaiming God’s truth, His love and the Good News? I plan to; what about you?
Father, help us to be watchmen for you. Help us to share, not for selfish motivation, but for the knowledge that if we don’t, someone could die before having a chance to hear of Your great love and redemption for their lives. Keep us looking to You, always leaning on Your wisdom in speaking and sharing the Gospel and the love. Thank you, Amen