Watchmen

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. 

“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul” (Ezekiel 33:1-9 ESV).

In verse 2, Alter translates watchman (qal, participle, ms, absolute) as lookout and “the connotation is clearly military: he is the person posted in a tower on a height to look out for and warn the people of approaching armies, as the prophet sees and warns of impending disaster” (The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary vol 2, 2019, p. 1151).

The trumpet that is used to warn the people is the shofar or ram’s horn (v 3, see pictures above). The shofar was used to muster troops, warn of attacks and was also used in religious ceremonies to call the people of Israel together (for example: Ex 19:16; Lev 23:24; 25:9). The shofar is mentioned more than any other instrument in the Bible at 72 times. “It is the only instrument of ancient Israel which survives in its original form and is still used in Jewish liturgy” (W. Elwell and B. Beitzel, “Music and Musical Instruments” BEB, 1988, p. 1510).

For the person who failed to hear Ezekiel’s shofar blast of impending doom, their blood was on their own head. Had the person taken the lookout’s warning seriously, they would have saved their life (vv 4-5). This person’s death is solely upon that person, not the watchman!

Now, if the watchman/lookout sees calamity approaching and does not blow the shofar warning people, and that person dies in their sin, the blood of that person the Lord will require from the hand of the watchman (v 6). The Lord reminds Ezekiel again of his divine calling (see Eze 3:17) to warn the house of Israel (v 7) of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. Again, the Lord says that if he fails to warn people of the coming destruction “retribution will be extracted from him” (Alter, p. 1152).

The Lord says to Ezekiel again that if he warns the wicked person and they do not take heed to his warning, the person will die in their sins; however, Ezekiel will have delivered his soul (v 9). Ezekiel, the watchman/lookout is NOT responsible how the message is received, he is responsible to deliver it!

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have MUCH to warn others about today. As Cooper states, “Warning others of the consequences of judgment inherent in sin is never a popular assignment. Believers have a duty to be “watchmen” who warn those who are in the world and are without God of the destructive nature of sin and its final irrevocable result—death and hell (33:1–33). Our responsibility is to warn and proclaim as persuasively as possible, but how the message is received is beyond our control” (Ezekiel NAC, 1994, p. 294).

It is the responsibility of every believer to be diligent watchmen and lookouts. We live in an extraordinary time where end time events are beginning to unfold like never before. In a world that celebrates conformity, tolerance and acceptance of all kinds of evil; may we be watchmen and lookouts blowing the shofar that God’s Wrath and Judgment are coming and that unbelievers need to repent and be saved because sin itself will not spend eternity in hell, but rather unrepentant sinners.

Lord God, help us to keep watch, to be on the lookout and to warn sinners that You are real and that You will not be mocked. Lord God, help each believer to understand they are called to be a watchman and a lookout. This is a serious responsibility. While there are many things that we can blow the shofar about geopolitically, economically help us to not lose sight of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ and that the Kingdom of God is at hand! Lord God, help us to love You and Your Word and Truth more than this world and its message of lies. Help us to conform to You and not this world. Thank You Lord for this reader! May our lives glorify You today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

 

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

73 thoughts on “Watchmen”

      1. Thank you for your kind words, Mandy! Honestly, it is chilling and not because of the AC right now but the responsibility of the watchman. There is no warming the bench in the Christian walk and actually, if there is a choice, I’ll just seat and watch; but we have a serious task. And you are right, it is not the responsibility of the trumpet blower/messenger on how the sound/message was reveived, it is the power/might of GOD that those whom He calls receives it. Indeed, Ezekiel is an interesting Book lately. It was planned to preceed repentance but I read a commentary that made me think to exclude it for now. There is more in Ezekiel that needs to be explored. Good afternoon Mandy! Back to dreamland.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If there is anything I can do to help you with Ezekiel please let me know!!! I think he is my favorite major prophet. Usually people pick Isaiah and Daniel and sometimes Jeremiah but I LOVE Ezekiel’s references to the future restoration of Israel, the end time dimensions of the Temple etc. Praying that you will go back to dreamland!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A true and timely word. There is a grave responsibility to declare His Word to His people.

    They who slumber hate to be disturbed.

    “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand…” Joel 2:1

    They who know the Lord, know the day in which we live.
    BT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading this and for your encouragement, Brian! The Day of the Lord is ever closer and you are so right when you say, “they who slumber hate to be disturbed.” May God give us grace and strength to declare His Word to a slumbering and complacent generation!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mandy,
    Your exposition of this scripture touched me deeply. I wonder how hard it must be to blow through a shofar. (Thank you for sharing the photographs.) But as long as we have breath surely we are called to be “watchmen” warning of impending judgment before it’s too late, and not only to those outside the church but inside as well. Christ Jesus warns us of these last days in Matt. 24: 10-13: “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” May our Lord lead us to be like Barnabas and encourage each other in the faith and encourage our bold witness to the world for that is what Christ calls us to do. Thank you, sister, for your prayer and witness, emboldening others to stand strong. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you this very day even as you serve and glorify Him. ❤️
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shalom, Dora! The longer shofar is supposed to be easier to use than the smaller one, I have no success with either one of those! One of my cohort members lived in Israel and brought me a shofar as a present. I treasure that shofar!

      “But as long as we have breath surely we are called to be ‘watchmen'” this also reminds me that we are to praise Him as well. I need to start praising God about being a watchmen for Him at this unique time, praise Him for who He is and that His Word is truly alive, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing through bone and marrow (Heb 4:12). Thank you for referencing Matt 24:10-13. It infuriates me how many false prophets out there today and that people are willingly give their resources to these charlatans. Everyday I have a greater appreciation for why Paul wanted the Judiazers to castrate themselves!

      Well done with bringing Kent’s post into this discussion! Yes, we need to be like Barnabas, the son of encouragement and encourage each other! Thank you for your blessing for me! I am so thankful for you sister!!! If you ever want to connect outside of WP my email address is als0810@comcast.net love, hugs and blessings dear friend!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tucking that address away — thank you, Mandy. 🥰🥰🥰Mine is: dorahak (at) yahoo. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. I love that you brought up the importance of praise. Amen to that!!!! 🙏💖

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well dear sister, you have put forth the hardest job on earth! The only way to fulfill that call is to first have the fire set in our bones, by the Holy Spirit. We are all called to this watchtower, but some are appointed by God with this singular call on their life and they stand out as pillars over
    time. I pray along side you Mandy, may we honor our God given posts in this dark world and fulfill our call in the short time left.
    Thank you sister for this stirring article. “Blow the trumpet in Zion”!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for reading this! I am thankful that you take this responsibility seriously! I love your humor and your heart to encourage, I also know that what is happening around us weighs heavy on your heart too. I am so thankful we are on this journey together!!! Love, hugs and blessings!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mandy, thanks for the photos, exposition, and prayer!

    Doing what I do I generally think of the Biblical watchmen as warning against false teachers sneaking their false gospels into the church. Of course, Ezekial was Israel’s God-appointed internal watchman, warning them when they were being disobedient. Hebrews 13 refers to pastors being watchmen over the souls of their congregation.

    At the mega-church we last attended there wasn’t much if any watching and warning going on regarding false teachers/false gospels. In four years I didn’t hear one word along those lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Ezekiel 33 is one of the more significant chapters in the OT. In chapter 33 Ezekiel warns Israel to listen to the watchman (vv 1-9); repent from their evil and wicked ways (vv 10-20) and in verses 21-33 Ezekiel is vindicated that his message of doom was validated in that Jerusalem was destroyed.

      The prophets at large repeatedly were sounding the alarm against false prophets. What is fascinating is that in Ezekiel 34, he contrasts false shepherds with true shepherds. These shepherds were the leaders who were responsible for the moral and spiritual direction of Israel. You are right, there is very little shepherding that is occurring in churches today. It is critical for believers today to seek wisdom and discernment as more and more false prophets and false teachings come along daily!

      Are you feeling better from your bug the other day?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right, the “shepherding” has become very entertainment oriented/superficial.

        RE; bug
        Thanks for asking! Ach, I’ve had the dumb diarrhea bug for 4 days. I just heard on the radio there was a big outbreak of Norovirus at one of the local college campuses, which is mainly diarrhea for 1-3 days, possibly longer for seniors. I’ll definitely be calling in sick tomorrow and calling my MD.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Glad you will be calling your doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be praying for you!!! I know you know this but please drink plenty of liquids, the last thing you want is to become dehydrated, that causes a whole host of other issues!!!!! 🤗🤗🤗🤗🙏🙏🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I thought you might like this. Well, you’ll know what I mean by like in a minute. Nathan’s boss grilled deer hot dogs for lunch and Nathan’s one co-worker said he couldn’t eat them because he’s catholic and doesn’t eat meat on Fridays. Nathan texts me asking if this is true. I share some of what you taught me and Nathan went to talk with the guy and he said “he won’t eat meat because he still practices this.” How did it go at the doctor’s?!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks for the story! Yeah, that guy’s more Catholic than his bishop because meat abstinence is only required on Lenten Fridays. His bishop is dining on steaks today while he’s eating a p&j sandwich.

        RE: MD
        Thanks. They didn’t have any openings so I left a message with the nurse but she hasn’t called back yet. I’m actually starting to feel better.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks! I was doing pretty good today, but had a “bout” of the bug this evening so I’m not work ready quite yet.

        Corinne is watching her “Blacklist” show while I read, typical for us. Just finished Allison’s book. Excellent. What movie are you and Nathan watching?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. So, we haven’t been able to come to an agreement. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ I am glad you liked that book! Also, will be praying for your rest and healing!!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. We are boating and fishing today then we are bringing pizza to one of our Pastors house for dinner. Tomorrow we are going to the Eagles. Monday-Thursday my best friend from Fort Worth, TX is staying with us and then I learned that my mom is visiting this Friday October 8-18 (with visiting my brother and his peeps in between!). I am thankful for all the people the Lord allows in my life including you and Corinne!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Wm L. Craig would never “debate” a Catholic, but he definitely would have a friendly, fraternal dialogue with them.

        Craig never had a dialogue with Kreeft as far as I know, but he did have a friendly sit-down with Catholic bishop, Robert Barron. If you ever have the chance listen to the 5 minute video below in which WLC explains how much he loves the RCC and respects it as a legitimate branch of Christianity, but couldn’t join because he doesn’t believe in the RC view of justification.

        Very strange. The obvious rejoinder is if you’re wrong on justification you’re wrong unto damnation and certainly not Christian.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Debate wasn’t the right word. I should have said something like conversation because I know he has zero issues with the RCC. I said in jimmy’s post yesterday that I had a professor who worked with Craig for many years and even though he didn’t agree with Craig on many things he would defend him. I get that he’s your friend, but what he is doing is wrong on so many levels.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Several of today’s top pop apologists studied under Norman Geisler and learned from him an accommodating and compromising attitude regarding RC-ism = Craig, McDowell, Zacharias, Strobel, Turek

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post Mandy, I read this recently and the modern connotations hit me too. At the time I saw it as referring to pastors and teachers, but you are right in that it refers to all believers – we all have a responsibility to the Gospel.
    Thank you and God bless you sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Alan! I am glad you recently read this and noticed modern connotations as well. The New Testament is constantly commanding us to “keep watch” and “be on guard.” I am so thankful for your heart for the Truth! How are you doing?

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    1. Thank you, Michael! I will be doing a youth study on Spiritual Deception on 10/30/2021 and I will email you my powerpoint once it is complete if you are interested? Now more than ever are our youth being bombarded from every direction with lies, entertainment and no absolute truth. I am thankful for your work in training our youth and young adults in the way of the Lord! Love, hugs and blessings!!!

      PS: Congrats to your Atlanta Braves, I was hoping the Phillies could pull it out. It is astonishing how bad the NL East ended up being this year! I usually say, “there’s always next year!” but now, more than ever I am saying, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. Would love the see the PowerPoint. The last one has been very helpful.

        The NL East has been horrible but the Braves were buyers and sellers and have come out well (I hope). We have to win one more.

        Blessings.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A very true and necessary word Mandy. This is something that we in our church were reminded of when we were doing the Alpha course and thinking of who we might think of telling or spreading the invitation to. Our pastor had said, our job is to give the invite, tell them about it and not worry how they receive it because only God can bring about a change in their heart. I think we do tend to get caught up in how our message might be received that we refrain from sharing it.
    We all do have a responsibility, the bottom line is the same- sharing the message of the gospel, it just might look different for each of us in various situations with different skills and opportunities the Lord has given us.
    Blessings to you my friend 🤗🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Manu!!!! First and foremost forgive me on my delay in my email response! Today completely got sidetracked!!! Amen to what your pastor said!!!!! I agree with you about us getting caught up in how our message will be received. I think this is an area where I need to grow my trust in the Lord. That it’s His Message and He will do with it what He wills, I am just the vessel. God is using you Manu more than you realize! You are a wonderful writer and your heart for rightly teaching/sharing God’s Word is evident! Love, hugs abs blessings!!! 🤗🤗😘😘🌷🌷🧡🧡

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  7. This was so good and so convicting, Mandy! Let’s pray God will give us courage to warn people and proclaim the truth! The end draws near! By the way, is that you blwomf the shofar? That’s so cool! We had one growing up, a smaller one like in your first two photos. They are hard to make sound! They were as a child at least! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow are those pictures from seminary of the shofar or recently in some other setting? That’s amazing you shared those photos. This post really drove the point home the importance of the duties of warning people. It puts fire in my bones to want to evangelize. It also is a good “sermon prep” for my soul for this Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The two pictures of the shofar are the ones that I have and the one of me was from my one of my Hebrew residencies.

      I am so glad to hear this post has lit a fire in you! I am sorry I am behind in reading your post today; however, I will read it tomorrow! What part of Ephesians will you be covering this week? Did you do pastoral visits today?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello! Today I didn’t do pastoral visitation but did have a meeting with our associate pastor we have started a few months ago. Largely today was phone related. I will be starting Ephesians 5 and think it will be up to Verse 3 for Sunday. Thanks for explaining the pictures!!!

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  9. Amen Mandy! This is a brilliant piece of writing and so true! Sometimes I feel I fail often as a watchmen of Christ and sharing the good news, also the warning of a future without Christ. Thank you for reminding us to keep on sharing the truth! God bless you, Nathan and PQ. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much Mandy! Your encouragement means a lot! I am thankful for your work too! Much love to you, Nathan and PQ!! 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The job is great thank you! Settled in now and all I going well. Andreia also found work after almost 1 year without . God has been so good! Thank you for asking 😊🥰

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  10. Amen!!! Thank you so much for allowing God to lead you in this scripture and break it down…very convicting…we as Christians must be on the go at sharing the gospel, we are absolutely called to that responsibility! It was as much meant for Ezekiel as it is for us these days. Thank you Mandy for preaching a timely applicable word for His glory!

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    1. Hey, Alicia! This gives me a whole new level of responsibility that we are to use our ability to communicate (oral or written) to praise God, encourage and warn believers and to warn and share the Good News with unbelievers. This really makes me take inventory on what kind of watchman lookout I really am! Love, hugs and blessings!!!

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