The Watchman | Ezekiel 1

Welcome to Real Life. The news is not always good.

“And gradually,
though no one remembers exactly how it happened,
the unthinkable becomes tolerable.
And then acceptable.
And then legal.
And then applaudable.”
–Joni Eareckson Tada[1]

The year is 593 BC. While in Babylonian exile, along the banks of the Kebar River, God calls Ezekiel to be a watchman. It is not an easy position. We like to give good news. But Ezekiel was called to speak the truth; and the news was not good. Judgment was coming. The remnant of God’s people living in Jerusalem had turned away from him and turned to idolatry, violence, and immorality. They had even begun sacrificing their children—Israel’s future—in the fire to the false god Molech. 

A watchman protects an entity (such as a business or city) from robbery or enemy attack. If the watchman falls asleep and the business is robbed, the watchman will be held responsible. If Ezekiel failed to deliver God’s warning, and the people died in their sins, God would hold Ezekiel responsible. But if Ezekiel warned them, and they refused to listen and died in their sins, Ezekiel was off the hook. His job was not to make people change. None of us can do that. His job was to deliver God’s warning.

God sends watchmen, not because he delights in raining down judgment, but precisely the opposite. He loves us and want us to return to him with all our hearts, so he can forgive and restore us. And when we do, he makes this promise.
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them;
I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
They will be my people, and I will be their God.
(Ezekiel 11:19-20)
Our world is in desperate need of watchmen. In the last few generations, society has taken a deliberate turn away from God. In my childhood, it was unusual to find a family who did not attend church. Today, it is becoming unusual to find a family who attends church. Church attendance doesn’t save us. Jesus Christ does. It is a symptom nonetheless.

In church, the Bible is proclaimed and taught. But when the Bible is unheard and unknown, its truth is replaced with lies. Human life is no longer sacred. Mass shootings abound. We begin sacrificing our children—our future—to idols of prosperity, pleasure, and ease. Slaying the innocent unborn is considered a moral right. Euthanasia is legalized. Gender is confused. Marriage is delayed, discarded, and redefined. Lawlessness reigns. And the love of many grows cold.

If Ezekiel were alive today, what would he say? I believe, just as he did 2500 years ago, he would deliver God’s warning. Judgment is coming. In the last days, Jesus Christ will return—just as he promised. The first time he came as savior. This time, he will come as judge. Now is the time to return to him with all our hearts. For he loves us. He wants to forgive, cleanse, and restore us.

“Look, I am coming soon!
My reward is with me,
and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
And let the one who hears say, “Come!”
Let the one who is thirsty come;
And let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
(Revelation 22:12-13, 17)

Lord Jesus,
Forgive us for turning away from you.
We return to you with all our hearts.
Remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh.
Fill us with your Spirit that we may be fully devoted to you,
To obey your laws and precepts, and live as your people.
Give us the courage to be watchmen to our generation. 
We pray in your holy name. Amen.

Take it further…

Photo credit: AndreyPopov
[1] When Is It Right to Die?: Euthanasia on Trial by Joni Eareckson Tada


  1. Thanks, Peggi, for pointing us to truth! Let us not compromise Truth!

  2. Yes, Lord, keep us firmly grounded!
    Thanks, Amy, for your encouraging comment!


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