PROPHET ON DUTY
Ezekiel was called by God to be a
"watchman". His job was to watch
and to speak the messages that God gave him.
HE WAS ACCESSIBLE. Vs. 15
He dwelt among the people. He "sat where they sat". He was there to be part of their lives, to encourage, to warn, to shepherd. We can not help people unless we dwell with them. Just as Jesus knows His sheep (John ), we need to the ones for whom we are responsible.
HE WAS TO BE ACTIVE. Vss. 16-22
He was a "watchman", looking out for the well being of the people.
He was to warn the wicked and the righteous alike, as God
HE WAS ACCOUNTABLE. Vss. 16-21
If Ezekiel warned those who needed warning, he was not accountable. Vss. 18, 20
If he did not warn those who needed warning he was accountable. Vss. 19, 21
THANK GOD FOR WATCHMEN!
When I was in the United
Sates Army, one job that I had occasionally was being on guard duty. I was a watchman for the army. The first guard duty I can remember was at
Our weapons were a club each. What amused me were the instructions we were given about the nearby branch bank. The instructions told us that if the alarm went off at the bank we were to go over and take charge! I'm sure bank robbers would have been really scared of two guys carrying clubs instead of guns! :)
Although guard duty during basic training was probably only training, being a watchman or a guard is usually a very important job. In the Bible God gave prophets, apostles, evangelists and pastors the job of being His "watchmen". Even to this day God has appointed those who preach His Word as watchmen or guards. Because God loves us, he has given us these watchmen, and we should be thankful for them!
The passage before us today is a good description of the job of being one of God's watchmen.
RESPONSIBILITY AS A WATCHMAN - "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman..."
I thinking about the various duties of watchmen and how they apply to preachers of God's Word.
1. A watchman protects.
Just as a watchman is assigned to protect something or somebody, a preacher is assigned to protect the saints from false teaching, discouragement and sin. He is also sent to the unsaved as a protection against going to hell. Of course, a watchman can only warn. The decision to obey is up to the person hearing the message.
2. A watchman patrols.
The watchman will move about, being on the alert for trouble. The Godly pastor will move through his congregation looking for those things that need prayerful attention.
3. A watchman perceives.
A watchman is on the alert. A good watchman can perceive problems. A man of God can perceive Spiritual difficulty.
4. A watchman proclaims.
He isn't silent when he spots trouble. He takes action, warning the violator and notifying those who can help stop the violation. The preacher proclaims words of warning to those who have sinned against God. When necessary, he warns others of the potential danger of listening to someone who is sinning.
RECEPTION OF ORDERS - "...therefore, hear the word of my mouth..."
A good watchman has orders to follow. He is enforcing the rules of another. Preachers must get their message from God. They must get their message by being in the Word of God. Ezra 7:10, Jeremiah 15:16
REPORT TO THE PEOPLE - "...and give them warning from me."
Just as the watchman reports to those who are breaking the rules or who might break the rules, the preacher is responsible to proclaim the rules to those who have or might violate God's Word.
REWARDS FOR THE WATCHMEN - Vss. 18-21
A good watchman is rewarded with pay and compliments for doing his job.
A poor watchman is rewarded with loss of pay because he'll lose his job. He might also be rewarded with punishment for breaking laws himself.
The faithful preacher will not be held accountable if he has faithfully warned the righteous and the unrighteous. (Vss. 19, 21) He will also be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10
The unfaithful preacher will be held accountable if he has not delivered God's message to the righteous and the unrighteous. Vss. 18, 20