September 6 (Daily reading: Ezekiel 31-33) We return to a theme that we saw in the very beginning of Ezekiel, when God called him to be a prophet. “I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me” (Ezek. 3:17). God described for Ezekiel in chapter 33 the role of the watchman. He is one who “sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people” (33:3). I think that all Christians have received this call. In Ezekiel’s time, the spiritual watchman’s role was to warn of impending judgment. In our time also, the role of warning is needed. James said, “He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (Ja. 5:20). But I believe the watchman’s role should also be to proclaim the blessings of being a child of God! If we tell someone what they should turn away from, we should also tell them what (or Who) they should turn to. A watchman is one who warns, AND witnesses!
Jesus told what the shepherd did when he found his lost sheep: “He called together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’” And the woman who found her lost coin, “called together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost’” (Lk. 15:6, 9). I hope to be a watchman who faithfully warns of the dangers of rejecting God. But I also want to be one who announces the joyful message of the blind man: “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (Jn. 9:25, NIV). I was lost, but God found me!
– Al Gary