A Challenging Message
God, You have called me to speak truth. Help me to live this out in the lives of those around me with integrity and grace.
Read Ezekiel 3:16-27
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
We will all stand and give account, and suffer regret or reward, for our faithfulness–or lack of faithfulness–to extend the warning against unbelief and the hope of the Gospel (see 2 Cor. 5:10).
A sport’s coach plays a vital role in providing advice, encouragement and help to any athlete who wants to win a game, a race or a medal. Without a good coach the athlete is unlikely to win–but it remains the athlete, not the coach, who does the actual winning. Similarly, a watchman plays a vital part in keeping a city safe. I’ve been listening this week to TV announcements of flood warnings and evacuation advice. If the advice were not given then relevant authorities would be responsible for any unnecessary flood damage and particularly loss of life. But if the warning is given and ignored, then people have only themselves to blame.
God called Ezekiel, and he calls his people today, to be watchmen and watchwomen. This is a vital and a challenging task. If it is not done then people will die, spiritually, and it will be our fault because they did not know that there was action they could have taken to avoid it. We will be responsible–and God will hold us accountable (20)–for their fate. A scary thought! However, we are not responsible and will not be held responsible for their response. If they hear the flood warning and don’t heed it, then we may feel sad about that but we don’t need to feel any guilt.
These verses bring an encouragement to Ezekiel as well as a challenge. His call is to carry out the task God has given to him–to speak the warning. What happens next is between the people and God, so when they don’t respond–and he is warned that many probably will not–that is not his fault or his responsibility. Trying to take responsibility that is not ours is neither necessary nor wise.
Is there a warning trumpet that you need to blow? Pray that your concern for the recipient will be greater than your fear of what they might think of you.
Loving Lord, it is a serious task that we have been given. Help me take to heart that we as believers will give account and that eternity will remember our choices.
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