November 20, 2021
Scripture: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:17-18 ESV
Observation: In chapter 3, God tells Ezekiel to be a watchman over Israel. In the Ancient Near East, watchmen were typically soldiers who stood guard along the walls or at the city’s gate looking for unwanted intruders. Here, the Lord calls Ezekiel to guard his people against sin’s infiltration and its untold destruction. And similar to a watchman, if Ezekiel fails to warn Israel against sin’s invasion, he will be accountable for any loss of lives.
Takeaway: All of us are watchmen and watchwomen within the family of God. If we see a brother or sister struggling in their sin (whether they are aware or not), we are culpable in our negligence if we fail to confront them. Often, we think it is not our business or that we are acting judgmentally. But it is unkind to allow others to stray further from God in their sin. For the enemy is invading and seeking to destroy souls. So how do we confront others? If our hearts are humble and we genuinely seek the other person’s best interest, then the Holy Spirit will inspire us to speak the truth in love with gentle correction.
Regarding our guilt, in this age under the Covenant of Grace, thankfully, our Lord, the perfect Watchman, is guarding our souls and extending forgiveness when we fail to alert others of encroaching sin. Meanwhile, his Spirit is helping us overcome our fears that we might become faithful watchmen and watchwomen of our fellow believers.
Prayer: Father God, we give you thanks for sending us your Son, the protector of our souls. Help us follow his lead and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in confronting other believers of their unrepentant sin with truth, grace, and gentle correction. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling