As I've been reading through Ezekiel, I see a recurring theme that shows what we as Christians are called to do. That is, to be a watchman, as Ezekiel was called to be a watchman for Israel. God speaks on this matter in both Ezekiel 3:16-21 and again in Ezekiel 33:1-9. Ezekiel was supposed to speak God's words to the people and warn the wicked of their iniquity. If he failed to warn them and they died in their iniquity, their blood was upon him. If he warned them and they continued in their iniquity and died in it, his soul was delivered.
So Ezekiel was the watchman for Israel. He would stand guard and give warning if there was danger. If he failed to do his job, the consequences were great.
How seriously do we as Christians take our jobs? Are we being watchmen for God? Are we warning people of their sin and sharing the Gospel with them? If we had the responsibility Ezekiel did and our failure came with the same consequences, how many deaths would we be responsible for?
I won't lie about it. I have a very difficult time sharing the Gospel with people. I lack the courage to approach people and speak to them of the condition of their souls. But if I took God seriously, I would have much more work to do.
In Ezekiel 34, God speaks against the shepherds of Israel. The shepherds fed themselves well, but they failed to feed to sheep. They weren't doing their jobs. Here's what God says in verses 4-6:
"The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them."
Would God have to say the same thing about us? Jesus commanded us to do the very things these shepherds failed to do, to strengthen the weak, heal the sick and seek out the lost. Very often however, we turn away. Or how often do we look down condemningly on others, even other Christians? We often exercise harshness more than gentleness and as a result many people are scattered and have become food for the wild beasts of the world.
Because the shepherds of Israel didn't seek out the lost sheep, God said He would do it and He established a covenant of peace. In Ezekiel 34:31 He said "And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord GOD."
Are you being God's watchman?