The Unwanted Watchman

Bill Brinkworth

Ezekiel had a daunting task that many preachers and obedient Christians also have today. He was to watch over the people God appointed him to minister to and to warn them of what God would tell him (Ezekiel 3:17). To make the prophet’s mission even more difficult, God told the watchman that the people he would deliver his message to would be rebellious against God (Eze. 2:3, 3:7), would be shameless in their involvement in sin, and would be stubborn in changing their ways (Eze. 2:4). His task, as is ours, was to be the “delivery boy” of the Word of God no matter what happened. What they did with the Truth was up to them, but Ezekiel was to preach God’s Word to them.

God knew how hard it would be for Ezekiel to continue giving God’s commandments to a people that did not want to do God’s will and way. God knew many would not stop in their determination to do their “own thing”.  He knew those resisting His commandments would hurl hurtful, degrading words at the prophet, would give him demeaning looks (Eze. 2:6), and eventually jail him for his persistence in trying to help them (Eze. 3:25); but still the man of God was to continue to be faithful in warning the people of their inevitable judgment of God for their sins.

Ezekiel’s message to the people was somewhat different than what every child of God is responsible to give to those they encounter today. Still, all we have an opportunity to speak with should be made aware of God’s warnings to those that violate His will. 

Since few read the Word of God for themselves and will not know God’s commandments without reading it, it is our responsibility to tell as many as possible what His truths are. Most of us would not be saved (Romans 10:9) and would not have God’s promise of Heaven if someone had not planted a seed of God’s Truth or attempted to tell us what the Bible said.  We also have the unselfish responsibility to tell others (James 5:20, Mark 16:15, John 4:36, Luke 14:23).

Not everyone that hears what God’s Word says will happily repent on being told what God says in His Word about their lifestyle, sin, or actions. The first time we heard God’s Truth, we most likely did not heed God’s commands, nor will it always be obeyed by others.

The prophet, Ezekiel, was warned three things could happen to another soul, because of the prophet’s responsibility in telling others what God’s Word said.  These principles can also apply today when a Christian does or does not warn his neighbors of what the Word of God says.  They include:

“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.” Eze. 3:18   Also: Eze. 3:20, II Cor. 2:16, Heb. 13:17).

“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.” Eze. 3:19

“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.” Eze. 3:21  

It may not be popular when a person is warned that they will not go to heaven unless they trust Christ alone for their salvation. Nor will many be receptive when we tell them what the Bible says about the iniquities of adultery, drunkenness, lying, cheating, disobedience, or any other sinful behavior. Warning others about what God says about their involvement in sin may earn us their unkind words or cross looks, as it did Ezekiel; but it will be doing what the Lord requires of us.  If we do not tell them, who will?

To learn more what the Bible says about witnessing to others read:

“To be glad instruments of God's love in this imperfect world is the service to which man is called.”  — Albert Schweitzer

This article was featured in The Bible View #341.

  The Fundamental Top 500