Day3

Ezekiel As a Watchman

from the Lent 2022: Come to Life reading plan


Ezekiel 3:1-27, Isaiah 6:1-13

BY Bailey T. Hurley

“Giving the kids an assigned role helps the classroom thrive,” my son’s kindergarten teacher explained. Earlier that week, I had heard about the different classroom jobs from my five-year-old, so I was already aware of the positions of line-leader, librarian, mail deliverer, and light-switch checker. But there were some new roles the teacher had to explain. Like when someone forgets to listen to the teacher’s instructions, the role of extra ears helps to repeat them. And my personal favorite, the clean-up helper who holds the other kids accountable to do their part to keep the classroom clean. The kids are all responsible for one another. If one student fails to do his duty, then the whole classroom is in disarray. Completing your assigned role is how the entire group flourishes.

In Ezekiel 3, we learn about his special assignment from God: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 3:17). “Watchman” refers to the person whose job was to stand out on a tower and look out to warn of coming danger. This image illustrates how Ezekiel would receive the word of God and then warn God’s people of their sins. God’s people would hopefully repent and be saved from God’s wrath. Ezekiel had his job cut out for him as God described His house as “rebellious” (v.27), for the people of God had a reputation for being disobedient. Though Ezekiel’s job would not be easy, it would be necessary for God’s people to flourish.

The Hebrew word used here means to observe or to watch closely. For me, I interpret this as a personal challenge to be engaged in the life of our spiritual community—near enough to observe the spiritual health of our sisters and brothers. 

As Christians, we perform different roles: prayer-warrior, meal-deliverer, Scripture-reader, worship artist, teacher, comforter, caretaker, friend, mother, sister, wife, and disciple. We could also add to that list the role of watchman. In the New Testament, we are called to restore transgressors in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1). We are told to go and tell our brothers and sisters who are wandering from the truth and bring them back to the gospel of Jesus (James 5:19–20). Caring for one another’s spiritual health keeps our spiritual communities from being disobedient to God and falling into disarray.

This task of watchman is not any easier today as it was in ancient Israel. Like Ezekiel, there are many rebellious people in the house of God who will not listen to our words of warning. As we hold our brothers and sisters accountable to the faith, there may be tension and timidity. But the Holy Spirit is present with us, and we can pray and ask God for the right words to say in these difficult situations. 

As we spend time in reflection during this Lent, may we consider what it means to offer instruction and encouragement that “…promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love…” (Ephesians 4:16). Just like a kindergarten classroom, our faith communities need us to do our part: to watch out for one another and obey God.

Post Comments (154)

154 thoughts on "Ezekiel As a Watchman"

  1. Sia Kim says:

    ❤️

  2. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord I thank you

  3. Kristen O’Leary says:

    Loved this! ❤️

  4. Caroline S says:

    I was raised in a Christian church. I have close friends from that church that have become my sisters. One of those friends, I have become convinced is not a Christian. She leads a life that is far from God, but continues to identify as a Christian. We are very close. A few days ago, I had a chat with another friend about what I should do. Should I say something? How do I tell someone that she is not a Christian? How do I do it without sounding condemning and judgemental while also being truthful so that she can turn to Christ for real? This reading feels like a direct message from God that I am her watchman. But I need wisdom. Prayers would be appreciated.

    1. Kelly Reed says:

      I’ve learned God knows wxactly what it will take to turn someone’s heart. So earnestly pray that God shows you your part in leading this woman back to christ and repentance

  5. Kimberly Nelson says:

    ❤️

  6. Lisa Daigneault says:

    Jen S. We are not responsible for peoples’ salvation. That is the work of the Lord. We are responsible to tell them about the Lord. When the Lord told Ezekiel that the blood would be on his hands was if he did not speak to the people. It would not be on his hands if he spoke to them, no matter how they responded. It would only be on his hands if he didn’t speak to the people.

  7. Lisa Daigneault says:

    Jen S. We are not responsible for peoples’ salvation. That is the work of the Lord. We are responsible to tell them about the Lord. When the Lord told Ezekiel that the blood would be on his hands was if he did not speak to the people. It would not be on his hands if he spoke to them,

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