The Watchman and His Message

I once heard the story of a huge rainstorm in a southern state where the bridge across a large stream was washed out. Soon after the storm a man was driving down the road in his car, and just as he rounded a sharp curve, he saw where this bridge had been washed out. He imme … More

Accountability

Up to this point Ezekiel has pronounced judgment upon Judah (Chap.’s 1-24) and the surrounding nations (Chap.’s 25-32) for their sins. After Jerusalem fell he has turned from messages of doom and judgment to messages of hope, comfort and future restoration for God’s people (Chap.’s 33-48). Up to now Ezekiel has acted as a watchman, warning the nation of coming judgment (3:17-21). Now God appoints him to be a watchman to preach a message of hope. God has promised to bless those who are faithful to Him. Both aspects of Ezekiel’s messages of warning and hope are important.

In the first part of this chapter Ezekiel is reminded of his call to be a watchman (vv. 1-9). The prophet’s ministry is likened unto that of a watchman, or person on guard duty, observing the danger of a coming enemy and then warning his people. In like manner, he is a watchman to them in spiritual matters. The enemy is seeking to destroy the people is their sinful ways of wickedness. To point out their sin and ask them to repent and turn to the Lord is Ezekiel’s mission. If, as a prophet of God, he should fail to warn his people, he will be held accountable.

Application

God will hold me accountable for not warning people about Hell and sharing the Gospel with them.

Ezekiel 33:1-9 (English Standard Version)

The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. "So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul."

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