Summary: God’s call to Ezekiel to be a Watchman gives us clear direction in our duties as Watchmen for Christ
This has been such a tragic week in our world. I am almost afraid to turn the news on in the morning and evening to continue to hear the escalating number of deaths due to the Tsunami. Nearly 150,000 people have died as this huge wall of water hit them with virtually no warning. So for the last several days, we have heard the speculations about and the calls to develop a warning system that could prevent a tragedy of this magnitude from occurring again. We have similar systems functioning already. There are people whose job is to watch for developing weather patterns, seismic activity in volcanos, fire’s in forests. And these people work and function to ensure you and I have the best possible chance at protecting ourselves in case of an emergency. Without even realizing it, we have come to depend upon these people, trusting them to alert us of any impending danger. We have as well a powerful military force that serves us around the world and watches for the potential of attack. They work in difficult and dangerous places in order to ensure our safety and our freedom. These men and women serve as watchman for our nation. We are dependent upon them and in many ways place our lives in their hands, without ever really considering all that is going on around us.
Several months ago in my quiet time with the Lord, He led me to the book of Ezekiel. And since that time, this passage from Ezekiel has called out in a loud voice to me. It has been stirring in my heart for months. We have been given a very specific calling. And it carries with it great consequences. Those consequences can be God honoring, or quite honestly can bring about death and eternal punishment. Many of you have shared that this year has been one of personal growth and challenge. From the period of personal holiness we discovered in the spring, challenging work in preparation for SummerFest and the way your faith was renewed in seeing all that God did in that time period, all the way to this last week we went through in 2004, you have been stretched and pulled in all kinds of new directions. And as great as that is, we must now ask what will we do with all God taught us? Will we harbor it deep in our hearts and remember this year as a challenging year and simply sit by and wonder what this year of 2005 will hold for us? I don’t believe that is what God would want from us, Harrison Community Baptist Church. I believe with all my heart that God is calling us to leave the complacency of what we call our Christian life and to surrender fully to His Will, His plan and to do so without question. For as we wait idly by, even hoping to see God do a work in this community and the surrounding areas, there are people dying without Christ, dying in disobedience, many Christians dwindling away with the cancer of sin in their lives, eating away at them slowly and we wait. And our hesitation can be the final condemning factor in another’s life! We must leave the comfort of our world, arm ourselves, clothed for the battle that rages and in the midst of the storm of life, take our place on the wall as watchmen for the cause of Christ!
Turn with me to Ezekiel 33:1-20
For the next several weeks, we will look at the call of the watchman and as watchman, what must we know? For we must be obedient to this call. And if we are, then God is honored and I know without a doubt that we will celebrate with many, their decision to follow Christ. But that is not our concern so much. That is the celebration we are at times blessed to be part of. In the very center what we will experience is OBEDIENCE.
This morning we will begin by looking at the duties of a watchman.
The Duties of a Watchman
I We need to be alert
A Watchman played a very important part in a cities defense. They had to stay alert at all times to see any impending danger and report it immediately. Their eyes were always on the horizon, looking for the slightest bit of danger. They had to be constantly on the alert.
B On March 23, 1983, Ronald Reagan gave a speech in which he outlined a national plan of defense that became known as “Star Wars”. In the speech, he said, “What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that we could intercept and destroy any strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil?” The plan was that instead of retaliation, any incoming missiles would be detected and shot down before they could cause damage. President Clinton tried to sell the National Missile Defense System to fend off missiles from Rogue states.