September 9, 2008pm   Lookout/Watchout   Ezekiel 3

by Ron George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church


Ezekiel 33     The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. 5 Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’
7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die fora his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.
10 “Son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because ofb them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’

Will you blow the whistle?  Even though they cannot meet all the needs in their community they are meeting some of the needs of some of the people.   We are not just here to help your little group, but you are there to work to help others in the area. 
 Today’s lifeguards are the closest things to the watchmen on the walls in the days of Ezekiel.  The watchman waited and watched on the walls of the city to let the city inhabitants know of impending danger. 
WATCH . WHEN an army is on a campaign the soldiers have to "bivouac." That is, they spend the night in the open-air, and every one remains on guard. Ought not this to be the position of the Church of Christ, now at war against the world, the flesh, and the devil?  The night is setting in. Let the Church bivouac -- every one become a watchman. "What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch!" (Mark 13:37).   By James Smith, Handfuls on Purpose, vol. 1, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman Publishing Co., 1971).
A seven-year-old boy had been pestering his father for a watch, but his father was not about to give him one. After he had asked for about the twentieth time, his father said, "My boy, that's all I want to hear about that watch. Don't you ever bring it up again!" At supper that night, each member of the family shared a Scripture verse at the table. When it was time for the boy to read his verse. After finding the verse that he wanted to read, he finally smirked and read "The verse I have chosen today is Mark 13:37, 'What I say to you, I say to everyone, "Watch!"'"  From Bible Illustrator.

1.  Who are God’s  Watchmen?  Observe, look after, guard, take care of, be cautious about, spy on, and survey are among the meanings of “Watch.”   Watch for the coming judgment, death, and danger.  These watchmen and women care enough and know enough to be sure to watch for the signs of danger.  They believe in the Lord and the word that he has spoken and they take their responsibility seriously.  They watch for those they care for.  They watch for the Lord.  This is a divine calling.  It isn’t just an Old Testament command, but it is a principle by which the called of God choose to live by.  In Mark 13 Jesus gives the command to watch and pray.  Will we watch?  Will you guard the life of those who God has given to you? 

2.  God’s Prayer warriors  Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.   The watchman hears the words that God speaks and gives the warning for God.  We hear God through the reading of the word, the preaching of the word, and through prayer.  God’s watchman must be in touch with him to give the proper warning and the right word at the right time. 

3.  They give the warning because they care.  The Champion realizes the seriousness of the hour, so he gives the warning when the time is near, so that the people he cares for will be able to be saved.  We can see the spiritual world and the spiritual life. They can’t.

 

4.  They are faithful and consistent.  We don’t know the day or the hour, so we must be faithful and continuing to watch.  They don’t go to sleep on the job, but they continue to work, watch, and pray that some may be saved. 

Let God do the saving, but they give the warning.  They realize the importance of getting the message out.  They realize they will be held accountable for giving the warning not saving the people.  Jesus is the savior but he is not the watchman.  We are. 

 

  1. They stand in the gap as the watchman on the wall.   Ezek 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.  God wants us to join him in the saving of his people.  Will you stand?
  1. Will you be God’s watchman for others? 

            Do we care enough to take a risk and give the warning to others?  There is a God who loves us all, yet many don’t know Him.  Will we tell them about Jesus?  What have you done or what will you do to shine the light and give the warning?  Will you begin with prayer and ask God for direction in your life? 

a Or in; also in verse 9

b Or away in

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Eze 33:1-11.