Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 3:16-6:14 (additional reading: Psalm 104:24-35 & Proverbs 26:27 )
Ancient cities were different from our cities in this day and age. Most cities were small in comparison and did not have all the protection that we have today. To protect those living in the city, walls were built around the city to fortify it. Watchmen or sentries were then posted along the walls of the city to warn the city dwellers of any approaching enemy. As long as they were not taken by surprise the gates in the walls of the city could be closed and the city could be defended. The watchmen were responsible so that a city would not be taken by surprise.
The very lives of the people in the city were in their hands. It is with this in mind that God declares that Ezekiel was a watchman to Israel and was therefore accountable to God for sounding the warning of God’s displeasure and judgment of sin. With the issuing of the great commission and the endowment of the Holy Spirit, you and I have been assigned the task and responsibility of being watchmen for our generation. Everyone who has decided to know and serve Christ has been selected and called to be a watchman to this world. We cannot simply sit back, resting upon the knowledge of our established relationship with God guaranteeing our home in heaven, and be totally oblivious to and unconcerned about those who are without Christ.
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Earnestly proclaim the word of God whether or not the situation or time is favourable.
In 1928, a very interesting case came before the courts in Massachusetts. It concerned a man who had been walking on a boat dock when suddenly he tripped over a rope and fell into the cold, deep water of an ocean bay. He came up sputtering and yelling for help and then sank again, obviously in trouble. His friends were too far away to get to him, but only a few yards away, on another dock, was a young man sprawled on a deck chair, sunbathing. The desperate man shouted, “Help, I can’t swim!” The young man, an excellent swimmer, only turned his head to watch as the man floundered in the water, sank, came up sputtering in total panic, and then disappeared forever. The family of the drowned man was so upset by that display of callous indifference that they sued the sunbather. They lost. The court reluctantly ruled that the man on the dock had no legal responsibility whatever to try to save the other man’s life. We say how awful this young man was; but is it any less callous for us to allow those who cross our paths to live a Godless life without any warning from us? We must faithfully sound the alarm clearly “Today is the day of salvation”!