The Burden of the Watchmen
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
Ezekiel 33:7 “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, give them a warning from me."
I have been praying about what to post this week. It was my intention to speak from Galatians 5:16-21, Ephesians 5:3-18, and Colossians 3:1-11 on what we are to refrain from, remove from our lives to move away from the world/flesh and toward holiness, but Father made it clear I was first to speak to the Watchmen. In my last post we looked briefly at what the Bible say about those who influence others. Much is required of the influencer!
Ezekiel 33:1-5 The LORD tells Ezekiel to tell the children of Israel to set a watchman whose responsibility it is to see when trouble is approaching. When he sees those with swords approaching, he is to blow the shofar and warn them. In this manner he has warned the people to prepare and whoever hears and takes warning will be saved and those who do not heed warning and are lost will be responsible for their own blood.
Ezekiel 33:6-9 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
“So, you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
If Father has called you to be a watchman, he is not just speaking of the sword/weapon in the physical sense. As you can see in the verses above, Father is talking about wickedness/iniquity. We are to speak the Truth in love. We are not to berate, bully, nag, etcetera ... We are to speak, clearly, backed with scripture and much prayer. We are to come along side. Our presentation may be passionate, quiet, sober, direct and sometimes even delivered through tears but it is never to be attacking. The one thing it must not be is unspoken! If you remain silent, when Father has instructed you to speak, you will be held accountable for that person's blood/soul.
My life verse is Proverbs 9:6 'Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.' I find this to be very much the message of verse 11 "Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’" What I have learned through years of study, sitting under preaching and teaching, living in a Constitutional Republic, learning the lessons from the ways I should not have gone and repenting, going the ways I should is this: Justice requires judgment and judgment requires a standard. Our standard is the Word of God not our experiences, logic, leanings. As watchmen we must watch for those things which will damage souls, lead into wickedness (*departure from the rules of the divine law) away from righteousness [*the active and passive obedience of Christ, by which the law of God is fulfilled (*Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary)].
How are you to instruct, warn another of the dangers of living like the world. So many save them, wet them, and send them on their way. Many of those we send on their way, and I would even argue the majority, have no idea what Father expects of us; or for that matter who God is. Okay we give them a Bible. How many of them do you think actually read, 'study to show themselves approve (2 Timothy 2:15)?' When was the last time you heard teaching or preaching on sin, iniquity and/or transgression? Shall we not be held more accountable if we let them 'continue in sin so grace may abound (Romans 6:1)'? God forbid!!!
This is my word to the 'watchmen' ... WAKE UP! The time to speak of consecrations, holiness, purity, righteousness and preparedness is NOW! We have souls who call themselves Christians (I am not saying they are not, just speaking of the belief/actions) who believe it is okay to have an abortion (slaughtering of the innocent), embrace alternate lifestyles (a marring of the image of God), are drunk with wine (being controlled by another spirit ... and this is anything we are addicted to) which is also idolatry if we give it place above our relationship with God. We will dive deeper into these in the coming weeks, so those who have ears to hear my repent of their wickedness and live or not and die with the blood on their own hands.
In Ezekiel 34 God directs His words to the Shepherds. I believe all those who lead are Shepherds to someone. He speaks against their eating the fat themselves and not feeding their flocks (there are several instances in scripture where woman were shepherdesses, watering and leading the flocks). I have found in recent years, the flock is going hungry. Those of us who study, search, reflect, etcetera, on the Word are allowed this privilege so we will feed it to those who do not have this calling, opportunity. If we are just sitting around keeping it to ourselves, we are sinning. I praise God for a husband who works, not only supporting our household monetarily, but who allows me the blessing to do just this!
I found verse 4 God speaks against the Shepherds because 'the weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost.' We have been given authority and we either squander it, are ignorant of it or are in disbelief of it; for what other reasons would we have a 'church' which is so sick? You are God's called. Stand up and act like it or get out and stop making a mockery of your calling. Call upon the Father to refine, reveal and draw to repentance if you are not walking in the way to which you have been called.
In verses 5 & 6 Father speaks of the scattered flock. Do we keep up with those who are 'our flock'? Do we go after them, inquiring & seeking? Or do we just move on to the next one. Jesus speaks of the Shepherd who secures his ninety-nine and goes after the one. Is it a relief the one annoying one has gone? Or, does your heart yearn and search for it? Is this one as valuable as the others? Is it wounded, falling behind unnoticed? Is it the rebellious one, the one who needs to be searched for, made to know it is just as important as the 'good' ones? The flock is made up of sinners at enmity with God or sinners saved by grace through Jesus ... But we are all sinners.
God tells the watchman to warn ALL! You never know if the person who you perceive as righteous is only 'self-righteous' and will one day fall. To be more precise, has never actually been redeemed as works/self righteousness is an idolatress stronghold. We are to keep speaking to the wicked, as one day they may realize how they are truly loved and in need of a Savior. This is not a calling for the faint of heart. The watchman is ever being watched; his/her post is high above the city where all can see him/her. The flock watches the walk.
God sets His watchman and He is the sanctifier, this is what He has called us to: Ezekiel 36:23 “And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”
If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here."
Accountability is a sober thing, especially for watchmen. If God calls you to speak, I urge you to speak (if time allows, pray first ... even if the prayer is just 'HELP!'). Be aware, the Adversary will come against you. You may feel intimidated (fear), weird (fear), unprepared (fear) or whatever other excuse he can 'whisper' in your ear. The adversary wants us to believe his lie (intimidation) in place of believing, claiming, initiating the promises of God. Listen to God! Your responsibility is to be obedient, remember *righteousness is active and passive obedience to God as demonstrated by Christ. Another piece of advice don't try to figure out why God wants you to speak a word. I was at a women's conference once and we were instructed to turn to someone we didn't know and to pray for each other. The Spirit moved me to pray something very personal and the woman just broke down. She had been struggling with the issue, this issue was the thing the Spirit led me to pray for her about.
Sound the Trumpet! Fulfill your purpose. For such a time as this.