The Watchman (Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7)
Ezekiel 3:17, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” Ezekiel 33:7, “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”
The Titanic is one of the worst maritime disasters in history. The British luxury liner Titanic (46,000 gross tons) of the White Star Line, on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, struck an iceberg about 95 miles south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland just before midnight on April 14, 1912. Of the more than 2,220 persons aboard, about 1,513 died. The ship had been proclaimed unsinkable because of its 16 watertight compartments. Nevertheless, the iceberg sufficiently damaged the Titanic to make it sink in less than three hours. Investigations found that the ship had been steaming too fast in dangerous waters and that lifeboat space had been provided for only about half of the passengers and crew. Warnings came, however, the response was, “You’re jamming up our signals.” The Californian, closest ship to the scene, had not come to the rescue because its radio operator was off duty and asleep. A warning can be a matter of life and death.
The Intelligence Agency of a nation is of critical importance in protecting its people. Whether a satellite or a plane in the sky, a mechanical or human spy, or a soldier or guard on the border, a nation’s ability to gain intelligence determines its capability to protect itself. In ancient history a nation protected itself by establishing fortified cities and outposts along its borders as well as by posting military patrols at key locations throughout the land. But most important of all were the watchmen who were strategically posted along the walls of a city. It was the watchman’s duty to scan the horizon for any approaching enemy and to be alert to any danger within the city, such as fire or civil disturbance. As God’s man, I must take the Word of God forth to the world, proclaiming the glorious message of salvation to every human being of every generation.
As a watchman, God gave Ezekiel some warnings regarding his ministry. According to Ezekiel 33:6, God will hold a watchman accountable. A watchman (one positioned in a tower or on the city wall to look out for invaders or approaching disaster) who saw destruction coming and did not sound an alarm to warn the people would be held responsible for their deaths. In God’s kingdom, a pastor who does not warn those who are uncommitted or rebellious against God about the danger of judgment will be held accountable for the people’s spiritual destruction. All Christians have the responsibility to share their faith with people who are spiritually lost or without a personal relationship with God and to help fulfill the mission Jesus gave to the church (Matthew 28:19). We will give an account to God if we refuse to obey Jesus’ Great Commission (Acts 20:26).
Ezekiel was to be a watchman, warning that all who continued to resist God would be punished with death (Ezekiel 3:18). If Ezekiel failed to warn the wicked, he would be held accountable for their deaths. Faithful men of God today embrace Ezekiel’s example by warning those in their congregations who are behaving in ungodly ways that they will be excluded from God’s kingdom if they do not repent (I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:18-21; Ephesians 5:5). God’s people are to be taught that they must admit their sins, turn from their own selfish ways and begin to follow God’s purposes. Those who fail to warn the unfaithful will themselves be accountable to God for their spiritual destruction. We must always remember that God has given us the responsibility to take His message of forgiveness and new life through Christ to the entire world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). This message includes the warning of eternal death for all who refuse to accept Christ’s forgiveness. God has made all of Christ’s followers his watchmen (Matthew 18:15). According to Ezekiel 33:7, God had made Ezekiel His watchman. God emphasizes again that Ezekiel was to faithfully continue to warn the people to turn from sin and to accept God’s salvation. Today the church and its pastor must help spread the message of spiritual salvation through Jesus Christ to all nations (Ezekiel 3:18).
I believe we all are accountable for giving the Gospel to the lost. We have a responsibility to try to tell people how to be saved either by witnessing to them or giving them a gospel tract. Do you have friends or loved ones that need the Lord? If so, make an effort to tell them about Jesus Christ and how to be saved. If you don't know Christ, you can turn to Him right now. According to an old legend, a man became lost in his travels and wandered into a bed of quicksand. Confucius saw the man's predicament and said, "It is evident that men should stay out of places such as this." Next, Buddha observed the situation and said, "Let that man's plight be a lesson to the rest of the world." Then Mohammed came by and said to the sinking man, "Alas, it is the will of God." Finally, Jesus appeared and said, "Take my hand, brother, and I will save you." If you know not the Lord, He will save you if you will ask Him.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for those You sent my way to share the Gospel with me. Help me that I may share the Gospel with those You allow me to connect with. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.