Summary: We are all the modern watchmen of the people of God.
Today I bring you a message that some will consider a bit strong. I tell you that it is a strong message because we will be analyzing our role as Christians. Before we proceed to the scriptures that we will be reading today I want to ask a question. Has anyone here ever received a message that was not to your liking? Let’s examine our past and let’s look into our present, let’s try and remember to see if this has ever happened to us. I ask this question because there is a large number of people that when they receive a strong message they just simply get mad. They don’t look beyond the message, they just get mad. I am talking about people that because of the flesh, that because of the first instincts, they go into a state of rebellion and disobedience. With this in mind let’s now read the Word of God to see why God allows us to hear these messages that make us mad.
Ezekiel 3:16-21 – And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
Let’s begin by analyzing this word "watchman." What does this mean? To have a better understanding of the meaning of this word we are going to have to transport ourselves to the past for a brief moment. As we have discussed on other occasions, the cities of antiquity were very different than our cities now a days. Today we see that there exist a great number of cities with a large number of inhabitants, but during Ezekiel’s time, the cities were very small in comparison. Also in those times they did not have all the protection that we have now, therefore, the only way that a governor could protect the citizens of the city was to have walls built around the city. Walls and doors that were built and fortified in order to defend against an attack from the enemy. This does not mean that the city was constantly closed. The normal thing was to have the doors open in order for the citizens and the visitors to have access to and from the city. But the doors were closed to prevent the enemy from entering the city once there was a warning. They could always protect the city as long as they were not caught by surprise, because in all reality that was the only easy way to take a city. This is where we begin to see the importance of the watchman. The watchman was a person or persons that were responsible so that a city would not be taken by surprise. We are talking about people that, in my opinion, had the most important job in the entire city. They would stand on the walls or towers of the city constantly watching their surrounding and scanning the horizon. They had an entire city that counted upon them to warn them. They had to maintain a vigil and constantly look for signs of activity in the surroundings.
It did not matter whether the weather was good or bad, sunny or rainy, lighting or thunder, the watchman could never desert his post under any circumstance. The watchman could not fall to sleep, he could not afford not to be paying attention. He had to have his eyes wide open at all times, constantly searching for signals that would indicate that an invasion was about to take place. Then, if a watchman spotted or observed signs of trouble, his duty was to blow a trumpet to alert the people, have the doors closed, and for the soldiers to man the walls to defend the city. This was the job of the watchman, one of constant vigil and to warn of danger. With this in mind let’s continue.