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.
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.
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;
Eze 33:3 if, when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Eze 33:4 then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
Eze 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.
Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, and the sword come, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman`s hand.
Eze 33:7 So thou, son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
I. Who is the Watchman?
Today in our scripture God says that He provides us a watchman. This watchman is to be looking to worn the people that they are straying from God’s word, from the path that He has planned for them. The watchman that God has provided for us is our pastors. God has placed them where they are to watch over the flock and to sound the alarm if the wolf is spotted on the coast or at the door. It is the duty of the pastor to sound the trumpet or to preach the truth to warn the people against the lies that this world offers each and every one of us. It is the responsibility of the pastor to study the word of God and be knowledgeable in God’s truth so that he can recognize the enemy when he draws near. Every Sunday pastors are to warn the people and teach them God’s word so that they have the armor and sword to go out and battle a dark, dark world. The Pastor is to warn so that the people’s lights can shine bright and drive the enemy off from our coasts. The truth makes our lights glow so brightly that the enemy can not stand to be on our coast.