“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

A Watchman

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. Ezekiel 3:17 NIV

The book of Ezekiel  has probably the most unusual imagery of any book in the Old Testament, if not the Bible (Revelation, of course, being its stiffest competition). With figures with wheels, eyes, and four different faces, it certainly stretches the imagination.

Graphic courtesy of Ochristian.com
But those odd creatures are not the only word pictures in this prophetic book. In fact, one of the more "ordinary" ones always gets me thinking.

In the third chapter of what I sometimes refer to as "Freaky Ezeky," the Lord gives Ezekiel a new title - a new responsibility, if you will. He tells the prophet he is now Israel's watchman - and he is responsible, and accountable, for spreading the Lord's messages to His people.
"When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. Ezekiel 3:18 NIV
Similar explanations of Ezekiel's accountability and responsibility for God's messages continue in Ezekiel 3:19-21. Basically, if he keeps his mouth shut, he will be responsible for the sins of the children of Israel. If he doesn't, even if they don't follow Ezekiel's admonition, the prophet is off the proverbial hook.

Ezekiel isn't the only one who has truth to share with the world. We all have been given the Great Commission (Matthew 26:18-20). And though He doesn't say it in so many words, we are His watchmen to the unbeliever. If God impresses on you the need to give His message to someone, you are as much as watchman as Ezekiel was. If you keep your mouth shut, you are accountable.

Of course, we can only speak His truth. If nobody listens, it isn't our fault. But if there is nothing to listen to, then perhaps we ARE at fault.

Are YOU being God's watchman?
We're discussing this here, and at Living by Grace on Facebook. Won't you join us? 

Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

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