Danger never comes on a schedule; it catches us off guard when we least expect it. We can be distracted just as much by life’s responsibilities as we are by its pleasures. In high school, I played the left offensive tackle; it was my job to protect the QB’s back. When he was working to move us downfield, his blindside was vulnerable, and he needed someone he trusted to have his back… that’s ‘the Watchman.’
For His children, God tells Ezekiel to choose one of their own to be ‘the Watchman’; and “when the Watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.” (Ezekiel 33:3-5 NLT) Our lives are full of responsibility and pleasures that take our attention; it’s hard to watch for danger and focus on what you are doing. So, God tells Ezekiel to select responsible people and have them commit themselves to stand on the wall of the community and warn them when they are in danger. When applied to our families, this is the parent’s primary role, and we do this by shielding and praying for our children. To do this effectively, you must be committed, able to discern good from evil, and willing to put others’ needs above your own… even to the point of giving up your own life.
Honestly, most people fail right out of the gate at being committed. We don’t count the cost nor realize the personal expense this will incur. Being steadfast in your responsibility and putting the needs of others before your own requires you to die to your own will or selfish ambition. This is the road Jesus took when He put off His divine right as God’s Son and put on our humanity, and with unyielding determination, “He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8 NLT) Jesus made Himself naked and vulnerable so we could be armored in His righteousness to endure the battle to reach Heaven. His commitment should be that of every parent, teacher, pastor, sibling, mentor, and friend. Unfortunately, most will shrink away from this commitment to protect their own rights and self-centered interests at the first sign of danger.
Secondly, the Watchman must be able to discern good from evil. When danger presents itself, we have seconds to react. There is no time to google search danger; we must know and respond, or someone will get hurt… even die emotionally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. We must be alert, watching, and praying! Paul compels us to put on the whole armor of God because our enemy is not physical but attacks our emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. If we understand that evil occurs when we live out a lie, we will eagerly gird ourselves with the truth. We will put on with urgency the breastplate of Jesus’s righteousness, His helmet of salvation, and learn to adequately wield the shield of His faith and the sword of the Spirit. We achieve this by prayer and Bible study… you cannot teach another or even live yourself what you do not know personally. Are you taking every opportunity to know the truth, which is God’s pattern and design we are to live by? Do you know God and thereby love Him with all your heart, soul, and strength? Do you even know the commands you must commit yourself wholeheartedly to and repeat them again and again to your children and grandchildren? Do you talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, going to bed, and getting up? Are they always before you, infiltrating your every thought and motive, so you don’t get off-track yourself; is God’s word the foundation on which your home is built? (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NLT) And no, I am not claiming to be perfect; I have failed more times than I wish to admit, but what I am saying is… are you getting back up on the wall every time you get knocked down because you are committed to having at least your family’s back, if not as many others as God would allow..?
Lastly, are you willing to put your old willful self to death, crucifying it with Christ, no longer allowing it to dictate how you live? Are you humbly allowing Christ to live in and through you? Is the life you’re living now in this earthly body, a life lived by trusting in the Son of God, who loves you and gave Himself for You? (Galatians 2:20 NLT) If not, you and everyone depending on you is in danger, and you have no way to effectively warn or defend them. God informed the people through Ezekiel that “if the Watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the Watchman responsible for their deaths.'” (33:6) This is a grave warning with dreadful consequences. And no matter what you want to believe or not believe, you will be judged based on God’s standard and design… with no exceptions.
So I plead with you, “Turn Back, Turn Back!” and grasp hold of God’s hand; let Him help you up onto the wall; it is never too late to be the Watchman on the wall of your family and friends’ lives. “For this reason, I bend my knees before the Father, praying He grant you, according to His glorious riches, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self. I pray that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend, as the Watchman, what is the width and length and height and depth of God’s Word. I pray you know the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge. I pray you are filled with all the fullness of God to love others like Jesus did. I pray you climb on the wall of their lives and commit to watching over them… even being willing to give up your own desires and will for their benefit.” (Ephesians 3:16-21) “Now to Him who can do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church, and every Watchman, through Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.”―