GOD’S WATCHMAN

INTRODUCTION

The prophet Ezekiel lived in a dark time.

  1. In the space of less that 20 years, three loads of Israelites were dragged from the promised land – away from Jerusalem, away from the temple – even away from God Himself it seemed.
  2. Even the king himself, Jehoiachin, was in exile.
  3. Ezekiel was supposed to be a priest, serving at the temple in Jerusalem, but there he was in Babylon – far from Jerusalem, far from the temple.

In the midst of all of the trouble, God wanted a man to watch for, and to give warning to his people.

  1. Jeremiah was God’s watchman in Judah.
  2. Daniel was God’s watchman in the king’s of palace.
  3. Ezekiel was God’s watchman among the people by the river Chebar. Let us first consider…

DISCUSSION

THE TASK OF THE WATCHMAN

  1. Ezekiel 2:3… There they were, God’s people, children of Abraham – in a foreign land, a strange country, because of their sin – their rebellion against God!
  2. Notice what else God tells Ezekiel… Ezekiel 2:5-6
    • They were to know that a prophet had been among them…
    • Today, the brethren must know that a faithful gospel preacher has been among them – not some sissyboy preacher – but one who contend for the faith
    • Question – will the world around us, your friends, your co-workers, your family know that a faithful Christian has been among them?
  3. Yes indeed, the time of Ezekiel was a dark time
    • Unfaithful Israel had abandoned God
    • Sin and death was preferred, rather than obedience and life.
    • He is encouraged not to be afraid of them, or their words, or their looks… and neither should we today!
    • Yet God still wanted his people to come back.
  4. So, He gives them a watchman… Ezekiel 3:17
    • A merciful God gave a watchman to protect their life.
    • Beware, of those who hold God’s watchmen in contempt and rebel against the mercy of God.

And what is his task as watchman?

  1. First one needs to understand what a watchman is… Ezekiel 33:1-6
  2. Imagine a small city or town which needs protection.
    • To prevent the city from being overrun, walls are built up around the city.
    • There are gates of course, but as long as there is sufficient warning, these can be closed and defended.
    • The one way that the enemy has a chance of conquering this city is to take it by surprise – to get through those gates before anyone realizes it, and while they are undefended.
    • To ensure that they have plenty of warning in the event of an enemy attack, a man with a very important job is posted on the city walls.
  3. There stands the watchman, high on the walls.
    • 1) He has to be high up, so that he can see far into the distance.
    • 2) His eyes scan the horizon constantly, panning the countryside, squinting in the bright light and searching for any sign of movement.
  4. No matter what the weather, no matter how tired he is, he must stick to his task – he is a watchman!
  5. If there is going to be an attack, he must see it.
    • 1) He must see it as soon as becomes visible
    • 2) He must blow the trumpet and blow it loud and long, to warn the people, to wake them up, to put everybody on the alert.
    • 3) That is his task Watching and warning!
  6. The spiritual watchman must do two things:
    • He must watch – that is, he must hear God’s Word.
      • Read and study… 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Timothy 4:13
      • Understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17)
      • But he can only do this if he is knowledgeable in the Scriptures – he then has the ability to spot that which is false
      • Many do not know that an enemy is approaching because they do not know the Scriptures well enough
      • He must fall asleep at his post
    • He must warn – that is, he must bring God’s Word.
      • He must announce it to God’s people.
      • Preach the whole council of God
      •  Today it is imperative to bring God’s word to all people (Matt. 28:18-20).
  7. Simple isn’t it?
    • Yes, it is simple, and yet very difficult at times.
    • Ezekiel was indeed a good watchman, but the message he had to bring wasn’t exactly a popular one
      • God’s message today is not always popular
      • God’s message concerning salvation, the one church, moral issues, etc.
      • As watchman, he had to announce God’s word of condemnation because of their sins… even if the people didn’t like it

And there were also false prophets. They did not bring God’s Word – rather, they brought a message which the people wanted to hear, a message which they invented.

  1. Isaiah 30:10
  2. These, the false prophets, were the watchmen memtioned in… Isaiah 56:10
  3. Can you imagine a blind watchman – The enemy comes, and no one sees them. As they enter the gates there is no-body who blows the trumpet.
  4. Before they realize it, they are being killed, as the voice of the blind watchman on the watchtower echoes off the walls … “Don’t worry, all is well.”

THE MESSAGE OF THE WATCHMAN

First of all, we must notice to where he is sent.

  1. God says “I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel” (Eze. 3:17)
  2. The watchman is concerned with God’s people.
  3. These are the people that God compared with briers and thorns and scorpions!
  4. Ezekiel, the watchman, must go to these same people and give them a “Thus saith the Lord

God gave them a watchman – to protect their life!

  1. He doesn’t want them to die in their sin, but wants them to live… Ezekiel 33:11
  2. God wants to give his people life, that’s why he sends His watchman – to protect their life!
  3. We must do the same today – Titus 1:13

Ezekiel is also sent to the world about him, they also need warning.

  1. We too are sent to the world
  2. Mark 16:15-16

The message the watchman must bring is a serious one, it’s a matter of life and death.

True life is in fellowship with God, and restored fellowship is with Him through Christ’s blood

  1. In Christ, sins are removed, they are washed away.
  2. But that gift of life can only be enjoyed in the way of continued obedience.

The watchman, Ezekiel, and the watchmen of the new covenant must bring that same message.

  1. Ezekiel was, and we are, watchmen of the covenant.
  2. The church needs to be reminded about God’s word, His covenant promises and threats, His covenant demands and obligations.
  3. The world needs to be told that there is no hope for them outside of Christ (2 The. 1:8).
  4. Watchmen are needed!

THE RESPONSE TO THE WATCHMAN

First of all, let’s consider what God’s response is to the watchman.

  1. He will judge the watchman for his faithfulness.
  2. Since God gives his people a watchman to protect their life, that means that the watchman who doesn’t do his job properly is endangering the life of the people.
  3. The watchman who fails to blow the trumpet is responsible for their souls.

In the church…

  1. Elders are responsible… Hebrews 13:17
  2. Preachers are responsible… 1 Corinthians 9:16; Acts 20:20, 27
  3. Each member also bears responsibility… Galatians 6:1-2

Perilous times demand God’s people to be watchful

Often, though, God’s message is rejected.

  1. Many will never give ear to God’s word (Neh. 9:30)
  2. God’s word, many times, will be met with rebellion and bitterness by those whom the word cuts (Acts 7:54).
  3. Some will be almost persuaded, but they too will be lost (Acts 26:28).
  4. But friends, those few who gladly receive the word and obey it, make all our efforts worthwhile.

Watchman must keep on watching.

  1. A watchman who won’t watch is like:
  2. A defective smoke detector, or an air bag with holes
  3. Worse yet, the blood of the souls of men will be on his hands
  4. We must keep watching for the souls of men

CONCLUSION

Remember, we are God’s Watchman

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”
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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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