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Ezekiel as a watchman April 10, 2011

Posted by daniel ayad in Biblical.
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Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ezek 3: 16-21)

 

In this passage Ezekiel is a watchman to warn the wicked people. God appoints him in this position because he is dedicated to God and follows Him, gaining the spirit of discernment. He wouldn’t appoint Ezekiel as a watchman if he didn’t have discernment, because a watchman for the Lord is a very, very important job.

You also notice that Ezekiel should not warn the people on his own, but by what he hears from the mouth of God. He should not speak in his own name, but in that of God “from Me”[1]. This is critical, as many modern preachers today go off on their own tangents preaching their own words, rather than preaching the direct words of the Lord. Every servant or minister must be careful to speak in the name of the Lord rather than his/her name.

You can see this importance in the book of Acts. When apostles such as Peter and Paul spoke as watchmen, they would state quite clearly “in the name of the Lord Jesus……” on many occasions.  

By preaching in the name of the Lord, Ezekiel (and all ministers) would be capable of warning strongly without fear, compliment, or prejudice; lest souls might be lost, and they could be held responsible for them.

God clarified to his minister the extent of his responsibility for the perdition of every soul he neglects to warn. This is something that has always terrified the ministers of God. It’s a scary thought to know that if you did not warn the wicked; his blood will be required at your hand. If you have failed to be a good example and not warned the people to enter the narrow gate, you are in serious trouble. It is horrifying for all ministers of God.

Conversely, if you do warn the wicked from his evil way and he does not turn from it, his blood will not be required at your hand.

This message of warning is repeated twice in the same chapter, and it is also repeated in Ezekiel 33, just to show how important it is for watchmen to give warning.   

St John Chrysostom gives a good example of how a watchman should act. He should care not only for the congregation as a whole, but for every single soul, as though it is the whole congregation. Every person is worth the whole city[2].

I think we should make every effort to be a good example to others. We should imitate Christ in all occasions, all the days of our lives. We should warn the wicked that your lifestyle is not a positive one. We should share spiritual information as much as possible to notify as many people as possible of the truth. Many people will not listen, and even some will laugh at the thought of Christianity, but if you are a good example and share spiritual information, some will listen and turn from their wicked ways.   

I hope that we are good watchmen giving warning to the wicked……otherwise our blood will be required!


[1] Fr Tadros Malaty, A Patristic Commentary: Ezekiel, pg 62, 2003

[2] Fr Tadros Malaty, A Patristic Commentary: Ezekiel, pg 63, 2003

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