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Summary: A sermon that examines the roles of the pastor and congregation and the responsibilities of each and the penalities incurred for not following God’s plan.

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The Watchman

Ezekiel 33:1-7

Introduction

As I was preparing this sermon this week I thought back to the nights that I stood guard duty during my service time. Often we were alone on our stations in the dark of the night while our buddies were sleeping depending on the night watchmen to warn them in time if the enemies showed. I remember the boredom that came with being out in the night without anything to do except stare into the darkness watching for signs that the enemy was near. I think about the struggle to stay awake after a period of time because if you went to sleep that could be devastating to your men. I then turned my thoughts to those ancient watchmen of days gone by who stood guard on the city walls of ancient city prepared to warn the citizens if the enemy approached. Today we live in a civilized society and we no longer have a night watchman who stands guard over us as we sleep warning of approaching enemies. We have lost the ability to hear when the watchman calls out an alarm because we have become relaxed in our civilized society and worldly pursuits that no longer do we feel the need to be alert for the warning of the guard at the gate telling us that doom is heading our way. We no longer feel the need to bow to the authority of the watchman when he does sound the alarm. It has been so long since we have been attacked that we no longer believe that we can be attacked. Today I want to talk about the watchman his duties and responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the hearer and their duties. I also want to look at the penalties of each for failure to do their duties as well as the rewards for those who do their duties.

Illustration

One of the most tragic events during the Reagan Presidency was the Sunday morning terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept. Many of us can still recall the terrible scenes as the dazed survivors worked to dig out their trapped brothers from beneath the rubble.

A few days after the tragedy, I recall coming across an extraordinary story. Marine Corps Commandant Paul X Kelly, visited some of the wounded survivors then in a Frankfurt, Germany, hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man; yet he survived.

As Kelly neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were but two words—“Semper Fi” the Latin motto of the Marines meaning “forever faithful.”

With those two simple words Nashton spoke for the millions of Americans who have sacrificed body and limb and their lives for their country—those who have remained faithful.

Eze 33:1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

Eze 33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;


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