Wednesday, September 05, 2012

September 5, 2012 … We Are The Watchmen

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 249  

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Ezekiel 31-33 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 33: 1-6; 10-13; 30-33 : [NLT] … 1 Once again a message came to me from the LORD: 2“Son of man, give your people this message: When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose a watchman. 3 When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he blows the alarm to warn the people. 4Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action — well, it is their own fault if they die. 5 They heard the warning but wouldn’t listen, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. 6But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their deaths. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman accountable. … 10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? … 12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The good works of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the sins of evil people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their good deeds will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. … 
30 “Son of man, your people are whispering behind your back. They talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors, saying, ‘Come on, let’s have some fun! Let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!’ 31 So they come pretending to be sincere and sit before you listening. But they have no intention of doing what I tell them. They express love with their mouths, but their hearts seek only after money. 32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t do it! 33 But when all these terrible things happen to them — as they certainly will — then they will know a prophet has been among them.”  

Cross Reference Passage: 2nd Peter 3: 9 : [NLT] … The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.
Cross Reference Passage: Acts 1: 8 : [NLT] … [Jesus as He ascended into heaven … to His disciples] But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about Me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 

My Journal for Today: In Chapters 31-32 of Ezekiel, the Prophet continues to prophesy destruction upon a longtime nemesis of the Israelites, …Egypt, who would ultimately experience destruction at the hands of Babylon, the prophesy of which from Ezekiel we know from history was absolutely accurate. This, of course, continues to validate the prophesies of God through His man, whom God’s word so often refered to as “Son of Man,” a title Jesus would later take upon Himself as He fulfilled all the prophesies of all of God’s prophets in his life, death on the cross, and resurrection.

However, in today’s chronological reading segment, I’m led to journal with comments on Chapter 33 of Ezekiel as the Prophet to God’s remnant takes on a somewhat different light, being charged by God as His “watchman,” blowing God’s warning trumpet of truth to God’s people in Babylon.

In those days, when a people established a fortified place or encampment, watchmen would be appointed to keep watch on the walls of the fortress or at the periphery of the encampment. These watchmen carried a ram’s-horn trumpet, called a “shofar,” to blow loudly if they detected any danger. And if they blew the shofar and the people didn’t pay any attention, it was their own fault if they didn’t take action. However, if the watchmen was not vigilant and did not blow the warning trumpet, he, the watchmen, was responsible for any deaths which occurred.

So, in studying Chapter 33 of Ezekiel, Ezekiel clearly saw himself to be the “watchman” to God’s remnant in Babylon; and he felt the responsibility to trumpet God’s warning of repentance to all of God’s faithful or those repentant ones who would listen and know, in faith, that their God was to be their Redeemer.

And as I read through Chapter 33 today, highlighted above, my memory of New Testament scripture was jogged by two passages, which I’ve copied above out of chronological sequence. The first is the Apostle Peter’s explanation [in 2nd Peter 3: 9] of why God is so patient with His final judgment of wrath upon non-believers, holding off on the Messiah’s return for His Bride. As Peter declared (BTW as one of God’s “watchmen”), God doesn’t want any to perish into eternal separation from Himself. He desires that all might come to an eternal relationship with His Son, The Messiah..

 But the second passage was Jesus’ own charge to the newly established church when He was taken back into Heaven after His resurrection. And our Lord clearly charged all born-again Christians to be His watchmen, trumpeting His truth, as His witnesses, to all … in our local area … as well as to all the earth (see Acts 1: 8, copied above, as well as the great commission in Matt. 28: 19-20). I don’t know whether you see yourself to be God’s watchman (or watch-woman) on the wall of this life, carrying God’s shofar (which is the Gospel) to those who are close to you and then, as you have opportunity and influence, even to the ends of the world as we know it. This, of course, is THE GREAT COMMISSION; and whenever we have opportunity and wherever we have influence or resources, we are to blow God’s message of truth for all to hear. And as in Ezekiel’s charge as God’s “watchman,” if the people hear the trumpet of the Gospel from us, and they reject the clarion call to salvation or sanctification, it is their responsibility. BUT … if we see or know the dangers and don’t blow God’s trumpet, we are the ones who have failed God.

So, I’m here today to blow the shofar of the gospel from God’s wall, trumpeting God’s good news. And I pray that you hear and pick up the trumpet and blow it to those whom God has given you responsibility to share His good news.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I blow Your trumpet today!!! Amen

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