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A Watchman on Duty

Ezekiel 33:1-33

Monday, 10 July 2023

“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.” -Ezekiel 33:7

Prophet Ezekiel was used by God very effectively to convey His message to a people who had gone far away from God by rejecting His commands through intentional sinning. God used Ezekiel in unique ways and very graphically portrayed His message to them. In today’s reading God yet assigns another task to Ezekiel – to be a watchman!

In the key verse, God has appointed Ezekiel as a watchman over the house of Israel. In those days ‘watchman’ was an official military position. They were situated on the towers of a city and were responsible for spotting approaching armies and sounding the alarm to warn the city. A watchman’s failure was punishable by death. In the case of Ezekiel, punishment would come directly from God if he failed to report to the people the messages God gave him (Eze.33:8). [NKJV Study Bible]

While commissioning Ezekiel for the solemn duty of the watchman, God directs Him to listen from His mouth and then give them warning from God! While the watchman in the ordinary sense is expected see with his physical eyes and warn people according to what he understands, the watchmen in God’s kingdom is required to “see” with their spiritual eyes and perceive what God is speaking to His people in the body of Christ.

Ezekiel was to warn people, even though they were a rebellious house (Ezekiel 3:9) and whether they listen or not (Eze.3:11). Therefore, Ezekiel was instructed in Eze.3:10 “Son of man, take into your heart all My words which I will speak to you and listen closely.” God’s heart was inclined to save them, so God wanted the prophet to warn them and correct them from their ungodly ways because God loved them intensely: “They, the house of Israel, are My people.” (Ezekiel 34:30)

God’s heart was always for His people – he was not interested in the death of the ungodly, but in the repentance and life of them. (Eze.18:32).

The duty of Ezekiel as a watchman is comparable to the responsibility of the elders of the church in the New Testament to “watch.” The responsibility of a leader is clear in Hebrews 13:17: “… for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.”

God loves His people and He does not want them to perish but to repent and live eternally. 1Thesselonians 5:9: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ.”So Apostle Paul exhorts in Acts 20:28 & 29 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock… I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” Who are these “savage wolves”? Paul identifies them in Acts 20:30 “…and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” In 2Corinthinas 11:13–14 Paul explains that they are false apostles, deceitful workers, who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ, satan disguised as “angel of light.”

However, God is searching for people who will be a watchman, who would stand in His council and announce His words to His people and would turn them back from their evil ways. (Jeremiah 23:22)

God wants the leaders of the Church to take up the solemn responsibility of “GURADING” God’s people from the attack of the evil one, by hearing from Him and warning them. As the coming of the Lord is very near, heresies are creeping into the church. Will you commit your life to take into your heart the message of God spoken through His word and His servants, listen carefully and then speak to the flock of God?

Quote for the Day: “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you…. shepherd the flock of God among you…” (Refer 1Peter 5:1-4)


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