Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. ~ Ezekiel 3:16-19
In the summers of 2013 and 2015 I would wake up in the early morning hours (2:30-3:30 am) with an urgency to pray and read the Bible. This happened for many nights through out those summer months. I would get up and get my Bible and let it fall open wherever He wanted me to read. On several occasions it landed on the scriptures I shared above.
In the Bible I used most often I would mark the dates and times next to whatever I was reading and the title of this section of scripture is, "Ezekiel is a Watchman." I wondered why, I pray and asked, why. Why would God want me to read this over and over so many times. Well, brothers and sisters, we are also watchmen for the Lord. We are to go out and preach the good news and be that iron that sharpens our brothers and sisters. We are not to see sin and say nothing. (This isn't about judging others it is about sharing truth. Sin has already been judged by God and is clearly stated in the Word what it is).
Ezekiel was to warn the wicked that if they stayed in their sin and did not repent, "they would surely die." (vs.18) If he stood by and said nothing. Their blood would be required at his hand. Not only was he to warn the wicked but also the righteous. If he warned them and they choose to listen or chose not to listen he will have "delivered his soul."
“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ez. 3:20-21)
We live in a world where no one wants to speak or hear truth. Everyone wants to feel good all the time and in whatever situation they are in. We humans want to hear about all the good things about ourselves. We want to hear, "You're only human so it is okay to do (enter sin here)______." It's not okay!
We who call ourselves believers should want more than anything to know and live God's truth. We will stumble, we will fall, and if left alone in whatever sin we find ourselves in without the loving, helping hand, praying heart of a brother or sister in the Lord - we just may not come out of it. The consequences for that sin we stumble into may be more than we can deal with - alone.
I share this with you because I have seen what sin can do to the life of believers, the life of the church, and to those looking in from the outside. It tears people apart. It puts a wedge between people and God. It, sin, does just what the enemy wants - kills, steals, and destroys us. I have lived those consequences and if it were not for a lady I met when I was about 19 years old, I may still be stuck there, in a worse place, and facing horrid consequences.
"Just as iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend." (Proverbs 27:17)
Today, hold on to truth. Look in that mirror of your soul and find those "sin planks" and get them out. Don't be afraid to call sin what it is. If we truly love our neighbor as ourselves, we want to see them on the other side. Don't let the moment pass when you can share the truth with someone. Don't allow their blood to be required at your hand because you didn't want to hurt their feelings. When my sister in the Lord tells me that I am heading in the wrong direction, in that moment it may sting a bit, but it proves to be that she loves me and wants to see me living the life God wants for me.
"But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house." (Ez. 3:27)
*This was written for a daily worship post for The Spirit In Me Facebook group.)