HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Look at this passage with me again, and notice some of the principles we can learn from it.
1. THE WATCHMAN’S ORIGIN (verses 1-2).
God spoke to Ezekiel and said, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, ‘When I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman . . .”
One of the remarkable things that God says in these opening words is that the sword was coming upon the land because He–God Almighty—was bringing it upon the land. It may be that one nation comes upon another for its own reasons; just as the nation of Babylon came upon the land of Judah for its own reasons. But whatever its motivation, it ultimately comes because God brings it; just as it was God who sent Babylon to Judah in order to punish and correct His disobedient people.
But God–in mercy–does not leave His people without the warning of a watchman. He brings the sword of discipline, but it isn’t His will that the people perish. If you look down to verse 11, you see that God tells Ezekiel, “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'” That’s God’s desire–the repentance of those against whom He brings the sword. And so, He is merciful and permits that a watchman is raised to give His people a warning.
And the thing that I ask you to notice is from where it is that the watchman is taken. He says, “. . . and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchmen . . .” It’s someone that comes from out of the midst of the people themselves. It is one of them–someone they know, and trust, and can relate to.
I see in this a very important spiritual principle that relates to us who are given the watchman’s call. God does not send angelic beings from heaven to be the ‘Watchmen’ to His people. Rather, He has chosen to take fallen, sinful people, redeem them, make them His spokesmen and spokeswomen, and leave them in the midst of the people from whom they were drawn.
Have you ever wondered why it is that God does not save you and then simply scoop you up immediately into heaven? Why does He leave you here? Why does He leave you in your family? Why does He leave you in your neighbourhood? Why does He leave you in your workplace? Why does He redeem you from the wrath that is to fall upon a sinful culture; and yet, leave you in that sinful culture? Could it be because, in His wisdom, He has decreed that there is nobody better to reach such lost and dying people–and to serve as His watchmen to them and warn them to flee from the wrath to come–that someone who is one of their own?
My brothers and sisters; it is not by accident that you have the family you have, or live in the neighbourhood you live in, or work with the people you work with, or dwell in the midst of the culture in which you dwell, or are a citizen of the nation you call home! God has called you to be His spokesperson–His “watchman”–to your people!
Are you a good, faithful watchman in the place He has divinely, sovereignly called you and appointed you? Are you faithful to speak His word to those to whom He has given you?