At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me." Ezekiel 3:16-17
Ezekiel was in the group exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. He was married, lived in his own house and, though confined in Babylon, had a relatively free existence. It was there in exile that Ezekiel was called by God, in a very vivid way, to become a prophet. God told Ezekiel, "I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel."
Ezekiel's job was no small task. First, he had to stay in tune with God. God spoke through him so he had to make sure he heard clearly. Second, Ezekiel had to deliver God's warnings to rebels, and many of the messages were not well received. But God told the prophet, "When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood." Think of it! If Ezekiel failed to pass along God's Word to those under his care, he was held responsible.
While you may not have received the vision from God that Ezekiel did, many of you reading this are watchmen. Mothers, fathers, and grandparents are watchmen as they pass along God's word to their children and grandchildren. Pastors are watchmen as they teach Scripture to their congregations. Leaders are watchmen as they guide those whom God has placed in their office or school or region. Will we be held accountable like Ezekiel? Hmm ... I believe so.
Father, remind us of the weight of the assignments that You give to us. Help us be faithful watchmen passing on Your Word--with its warnings and encouragement--to those under our charge. In Jesus' name. Amen.