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Who is the watchman? (Wk 6 Ezekiel)

watchman ezekiel(Special thanks to Loren for substitute teaching for Robert this week)

Ezekiel as watchman
Ezekiel was called to be a watchman.

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
Ezekiel 3:17

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.
Ezekiel 33:6

If you warn them and they don’t listen, don’t worry about it. You’ve done  your part.
But if you don’t warn them at all, you’ll fall, too. 

It seems like a no-brainer then. Warn the people!

Am I a watchman?
But is it always that simple?
Not for me.

Ezekiel was specifically called to be a watchman. God said it; he heard it; that’s that. But am I also called to be a watchman?

We talked in class Wednesday about scriptures like these:

Matthew 18:15-17
Jesus sets up a pattern for dealing with personal offenses: first, talk one-on-one with the offender. If he listens, great! If he doesn’t, try again with a couple of witnesses. Still not listening? Tell it to the church. Still not? Treat him as an outsider.

Galatians 6:1
Paul says to restore someone caught in sin. But do it with humility, lest you also fall.

James 5:19-20
James says we are to bring back those who wander from the truth.

But . . .
But what if I warn, and I’m accusing of being judgmental? What if I warn, and it turns out I was wrong? What if I warn, and then end up committing the same sin myself? Do I love somebody enough to take those risks?

Am I really supposed to be my brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9-11) How far is this love stuff supposed to go?

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
John 15:12-14

It’s supposed to go all the way. Whatever it takes. From life to death to life.

Who is the watchman?
My call isn’t exactly like Ezekiel’s. But I obviously have a call as well. “Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11). “If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

And like Ezekiel, I’m not responsible for the outcome. I can love enough to give the warning and pray for restoration, but I can’t make repentance happen. 

Who is the watchman?
I am the watchman.
I pray for strength and wisdom to blow the trumpet when needed if you become a straying brother or sister.

Who is the watchman?
You are the watchman.
And I pray for you to be a strong and wise watchman to blow the trumpet to awaken me from my sin when I need it.

Not only for my sake, but also for yours. It’ll keep blood off both our hands. And love in both our hearts. 

* * *

NEXT WEEK: Personal Responsibility, Ezekiel 18, 34

More Ezekiel notes
Class outline


1 comment:

Unknown said...

a lot of trips down memory lane you have provided lately, i still remember hearing a lesson or two on this thought while i was a teenager, compelling scripture, i personally have trouble with remaining just the watchman, i not only want to tell them the good news, the difference between right and wrong but somehow i want to enforce it, i constantly remind myself that people need time to absorb and process the information and that i didn't act immediately on everything i learned better / different, best to let them wait and act on conviction brought by the Holy Spirit in quiet contemplation than to push harder in hopes that being more persuasive will do the trick... so hard to do tho


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