[God told Ezekiel] “Son of man, I’ve made you a watchman for the family of Israel.” Ezekiel 3:17
Unlike a guard watching over the crown jewels or a shepherd watching his flock, God charged Ezekiel with the task of watching for signs of wicked living among the people of Israel. He was then to warn them of the penalty for refusing to change. However, God assured Ezekiel he would not be held responsible for those who refused to obey God.
For me, the most daunting of all watchman positions is being a parent–to guard without hovering. In our tight suburban neighborhood, there was an unwritten rule that if you saw any child doing something suspicious, reckless, or troublesome, you put yourself in the middle of it. You either stopped the behavior or reported it to the parents. On one occasion, I told a young teen I would need to call his parents. He looked at me with begging eyes and said, “Please, don’t call my parents. They won’t understand.” I didn’t call them, but I did keep a watchful eye on this kid.
God enlisted Ezekiel as a watchman because he trusted him to follow through with what he asked of him. When we are entrusted with the responsibility of being a preacher, teacher, parent, or watchman of any kind, God stands by to give us guidance.
Lord, thank you for watching over us and challenging us to watch over others. Amen.