Terrorism, disease, blight, domestic violence, home invasions… It seems that threats are everywhere and the need for watchmen has never been greater.
In the same way that we need military, police, border guards, hospitals, homeland security, etc. to guard the natural areas of our lives, we also need spiritual watchmen to provide warning for our souls. Most people receive little to no training on how to see these kinds of dangers that can come our way.
Centuries ago, during a time that was particularly desperate and dangerous, God spoke to Ezekiel:
“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.” – (Ezekiel 33:2-7 NASB)
Ezekiel was given the burdensome task of warning his people about the dangers of oncoming judgment. He was to be a watchman to people who didn’t want to hear the warning. God told him that his forehead would become like flint and that the insults and verbal injuries heaped upon him would not keep him from his mission. He was also told that as long as he spoke as he was supposed to, he would be safe, but if he didn’t, God would hold him accountable for the lives and souls of the people he failed to warn. Talk about tough jobs!
Today, we can learn a lot about the role of the Watchman who stationed themselves on the wall of their city to warn of animal or enemy attacks on their crops or livestock, invasions and even trouble stirring with the gates. Here are a few responsibilities to consider:
GUARD AGAINST ENEMY ATTACKS
No matter how strong the city, it is not complete without a watchman. Watchman are positioned high up where they can see what may threaten the city from without, but they can also see the marketplace and perceive threats that are among the people within.
“Lift up a signal against the walls of Babylon; Post a strong guard, Station sentries, Place men in ambush! For the LORD has both purposed and performed what He spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.” Jeremiah 51:12 (NASB)
HEAR & WARN
It is interesting that God didn’t say, “See and warn.” Instead He said, “Hear and warn.” It is more important that we hear from the Father than it is that we see what is going on around us.
“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.” Ezekiel 3:17 (NASB)
“And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’” Jeremiah 6:17 (NASB)
These are just two of the many responsibilities of a Watchman. In the next blog, we will learn a few more responsibilities as we ask ourselves, Are You A Watchman?