Heavenly Lord, may Your Word reveal the secrets of my heart today as I seek Your truth.
Read Ezekiel 3:16–27
Ezekiel’s Task as Watchman
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “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. 18 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[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
22 The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.
24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.
a Ezekiel 3:18 Or in; also in verses 19 and 20
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAs you read today, think carefully about those you live among. What have you seen of God? How can you speak it to them?
I was lining up at Elland Road football ground to watch Leeds United. It was the mid-1960s. The man walking up and down the lines was being ignored or ridiculed as weird. Strapped over his shoulders was a large wooden sign with bold black lettering that proclaimed on one side “The end draweth nigh!” On the other, “Prepare to meet thy God.” The stark warnings and the courage of the man made a big impression on me, aged 7.
Watchmen were essential in Ezekiel’s day. Those commissioned to patrol the city walls, looking out for the people, had also to blow the trumpet and cry out the fearful news of danger. Lives depended on them watching and warning. Jerusalem’s spiritual watchmen had failed miserably in both regards as they wallowed in contempt of the God who has just stormed into Ezekiel’s world.
Ezekiel had to watch what God was doing, since God was a bigger threat to the rebellious than the Babylonians could ever be. Then he had to cry out, disturbing those facing the Dangerously holy God. They might stop rebelling and repent. They might ignore and ridicule.
Ask God to give you the courage to speak up for him even if no one listens.
Jesus, I want to share Your truth with the world around me. Open my eyes to see who needs Your love today.
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