“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 house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.’” –Ezekiel 3:16-17 (NIV)
In most cases, the first image that comes to our mind when we think of a prophet is that of a lone messenger proclaiming the words of God. But it would seem that there is another dimension to the idea of being a prophet. God had appointed Ezekiel to be a, “watchman for the house of Israel”. What does it mean to carry out this role? Watchmen exist for the purpose of protecting the people. This involves seeing to the maintenance of a standard of behaviour that would contribute to the welfare of the people while speaking up against violations of that standard. The function of watchmen therefore is an important one. Without him to hold the people accountable to the standard set in place, there would be chaos and injustice everywhere!
God has called us to be watchmen wherever we are. As His children we are to draw those within our circle of influence towards the righteousness and truth found in Christ. But can we do so by our own strength or will? Can the watchman properly uphold the principles of the law without obtaining an intimate understanding of it? Likewise unless Christ’s righteousness is being made manifest within our lives, our stand for His precepts will be weak and brittle. When we have allowed Christ to enter into our hearts and have given Him free reign to carry out His restorative work within us, only then will we understand what true righteousness is and seek to uphold that which Christ has given us. Being a watchman may place us at odds with those who oppose our stand for the instructions of Christ. However, when we lean on the power of Christ within us, He will enable us when our voices falter; boldly proclaiming His truth and seeking to bring others into a restored relationship with Him.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.