Summary: This sermon deals with the call of the watchman and our understanding of who sent us, to whom we are sent and the responsibility of outcome.
After I got out of the military, I worked as a supervisor at a Juvenile Detention Center in Medical Lake. It was a brand new facility and we were responsible for opening the doors on the very first day. It really was exciting being in on the ground floor. As a group we went through training together in preparation for opening. But a couple months into the job, we had problems with a couple of employees. Both had made some errors in that placed other officers or residents in danger. And although both were worked with and given opportunity to improve, they didn’t and the time came to let them go. And in both cases, the responsibility was given to me. Now up to that moment, I had never fired anyone in my life. And even though I knew it was necessary, this was not a part of the job that I was looking forward to.
The day before we were to meet with them, my boss Jim called me into his office to discuss how the meeting would go. I knew my job and knew what I needed to do, but Jim spoke some words that gave some perspective on the situation. In some ways his words were freeing. He said, remember, this is not personal. And YOU are not firing them. CSC is firing them. You are simply representing the company and giving a word for the company. I go as the companies advocate.
This wasn’t about me. I liked both these guys and had carpooled with one of them for weeks through training. But I had a job to do. In that circumstance, it was not Mike, but CSC that was firing them. And no matter how personal someone else may want to make it, it was not about me at all.
We began last week looking from Ezekiel at our duties as watchmen. And there are things within this calling that are difficult. It means putting our selves in places to declare a very difficult message. And warning others of the consequences of judgment inherent to sin is never a popular assignment. But there are times when the unpopular is still our responsibility. As believers in Christ, we have the responsibility, the duty, to be watchmen who warn those in the world without Christ of the destructive nature of sin and its final irrevocable results, death and hell. I was talking with a friend-LIZ- this week whose best friend lost her brother. And her friend called to ask Liz to pray for her brother because he was an evil man who was evil and bitter to his dying breath. And Liz called to get advice on how to tell her friend there was no hope for him on an eternal scale. And eternity is a long time! We must also proclaim to those who have a relationship with Christ that there are things evident in their life that are not God honoring but are rather unrighteousness.
Turn with me this morning to our passage in Ezekiel 2:1-7. This passage is Ezekiel’s initial call from God in which God establishes the prophet’s mission which we read last week restated in Ezekiel 33:1-20. Last week we saw the duties as would be defined in our attitudes of being alert, concerned and willing to answer the call. This morning we get deeper into the call of the watchmen and we will see who sent us, to whom we are sent and the responsibility of the outcome. So we begin by first understanding…
1. Who sent us
As I stated in the beginning, by realizing our roles and responsibilities, we actually find freedom. As watchmen on the wall, the message is not ours. We only serve as the messenger. As we look at this call and in further throughout the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel did not need to use his own powers of observation but was simply a channel of divine warning. And we must understand that. We are sent by God with His word and not ours. Now the attitude by which we go is very important. We looked last week at Jonah, who finally relented of his own will and went to the Ninevites and proclaimed the message of God. But his attitude was all wrong. And God used him, but Jonah truly missed out on the blessing of God. We are told to go in the love of Christ. He is the one we represent. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
We are Christ’s ambassadors and so our responsibility is to speak His Word and represent Him. And we are to do so with a spiritual boldness. That is, to do so without fear. The Lord told Ezekiel in vs 6… No matter how hard the situation may be, just proclaim the message I give you. Christians so often use the presence of fear to keep them from their task; fear of rejection, harm, being ostracized, lack of knowledge. And this fear cripples us. We have nothing to fear but God. Luke 12:4-5; Isaiah 41:10