#DailyDevotion Do You Have A Watchman In Your Life?
Ezekiel 337“So I have appointed you, son of man, as a watchman for Israel; listen to what I say and warn them for Me. 8When I tell the wicked man, You will certainly die, wicked man,’ and you say nothing to warn the wicked man to stop what he’s doing, that wicked man will die for his wrong, but I will hold you responsible for his death. 9But when you warn a wicked man to leave his ways and turn from them, but he doesn’t turn from his ways, then he shall die for his wrong, but you have saved your life.
Ezekiel was a prophet during the time of the exile of the Jews in Babylon. You might remember the Jews had rebelled against the LORD by not obeying his commands, doing injustice, and worshiping other gods. The rebelled against the prophets the LORD had sent to them, mistreated them and even killed them.
Ezekiel was a priest in the exile who was also called to be a prophet by the LORD, the God of Israel. Now we see here in this text Ezekiel receiving another call or perhaps an amplification or explanation of that call of prophet. He is called to be a watchman for Israel. What does this call of watchmen entail? He is to warn the Jews when the LORD tells him to warn them.
He is not to speak to groups of Jews at large but also to individual ones as well. When the LORD speaks to him to warn a wicked man he will die because of his sins, Ezekiel is called to warn him. If Ezekiel doesn’t warn him, then Ezekiel will be responsible for the death the LORD brings upon the wicked man. What does that mean? It means Ezekiel will lose his part in the world to come if he doesn’t open his mouth and warn the man. Conversely, if Ezekiel does warn the man to leave his ways and the man doesn’t listen to him, then the man will still die for his wrong but Ezekiel will have saved his own life.
So what does this have to do with you and me? Has everyone been called to be a watchman? The Church over history has certainly thought that its pastors have been called to be the LORD’s watchmen. The text is often quoted in an man’s ordination and installation into a congregation. Men take up this mantle with great trepidation because they know they are accountable to the LORD for what they say and what they don’t say. What does this mean? It means when your pastor comes to you and rebukes you because of some sin you are involved with, you should not rebel against his rebuke. You should not hate him for it. You shouldn’t start planning his demise. If you do, you will find that you will be fighting against the LORD God Almighty himself. No, you should thank him for the rebuke and repent, thereby saving your soul from eternal damnation. He takes no pleasure in rebuking you and warning you. It is like facing death from you every time he opens his mouth to correct your behavior. But there is the LORD he has to face also if he does not.
Does this apply to laymen, to you? Certainly everyone is called to rebuke the sin of their fellow believers, but they do not face the same threat from the LORD if they do not. They have not been called by him to rebuke and to speak in his name.
Heavenly Father, in your great mercy you call men into the office of the ministry to teach, rebuke and forgive the sins of your people. Grant them the courage to so and grant us willing hearts that will receive their correction with love and thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.