Today’s Reading: Ezek 3:16–5:17, Rev 2:1–11, Job 32:11–22
Today’s Theme: God’s Watchmen
Today’s theme looks at our call to be faithful watchmen. We are called to defend the faith, raise the alarm about the enemy and most importantly to watch over our own hearts.
As watchmen we need to speak up boldly.
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.(Ezekiel 3:17, ESV)
Our pastors fulfil this role in our lives today.
But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”(Ezekiel 3:21, ESV)
Because of the position of the watchman he has responsibility for the people up until warning them to flee the wrath to come. This again reinforces the idea that the watchman is an elder in the church.
Paul picked up on this when he told Timothy to guard the doctrine to save his hearers and himself.
Although we can take application for our own lives where we are the only saved ones in our family, circle of friends or work place etc.
And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people.(Ezekiel 3:25, ESV)
God uses prophetic symbolism here.
And you, take an iron griddle, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; and set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.(Ezekiel 4:3, ESV)
God was making the sign really clear with a visual model. Pictures and visual aids can help us to display God’s truth.
Read in faith
Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay.(Ezekiel 4:16, ESV)
We should read God’s word in faith not anxiety.
“Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.(Ezekiel 5:5, ESV)
Jerusalem is the centre of the world.
Don’t reject God
And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes.(Ezekiel 5:6, ESV)
Again this theme of rejecting God has come up, we should not reject the one who loves us and set His affection upon us.
Abomination brings judgement
And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again.(Ezekiel 5:9, ESV)
The motivation for the terrible judgement.
The Jewish story
Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw. My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity.(Ezekiel 5:11, ESV)
This explains the Jewish story of exile, persecution and judgement.
God’s personal anger
You shall be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations all around you, when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury, and with furious rebukes—I am the Lord; I have spoken—(Ezekiel 5:15, ESV)
God has personal anger and fury against sin.
Guardians of the truth
“ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.(Revelation 2:2, ESV)
This was a church where truth was really important. Right doctrine and practise took high priority as well as hard work which the Lord commends.
Don’t grow cold
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.(Revelation 2:4, ESV)
The negative thing was that the love they had at first was abandoned as they entered into a cold service and apologetic defence of the faith. We must be weary of this trap, we need to keep our love for the Lord alive.
Love… A doing word
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.(Revelation 2:5, ESV)
Notice the returning to first love involved doing and not feeling.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’(Revelation 2:7, ESV)
A wonderful promise and reward that should encourage us to persevere.
The persecuted church
“ ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.(Revelation 2:9, ESV)
This church is representative of the persecuted church.
The crown of life
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.(Revelation 2:10, ESV)
Notice the devil’s work is quite specific and has a wider purpose under Gods sovereignty.
There was no rebuke for this church, just an encouragement to stay faithful and a promise of the crown of life for those that do.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’(Revelation 2:11, ESV)
Another great encouragement for us to persevere in the Lord.
Be ready to answer
I gave you my attention, and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job or who answered his words.(Job 32:12, ESV)
This is the sad reality, many operating in their own wisdom cannot answer the questions of the world but we must study to show ourselves approved and be ready to give an answer for our hope.
I must speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer.(Job 32:20, ESV)
When the Holy Spirit is bubbling up inside of us it is time for us to speak out.
Don’t be partial or flatter
I will not show partiality to any man or use flattery toward any person.(Job 32:21, ESV)
When declaring the truth it is important that we do so without the fear of man which leads us to things like flattery, lies and partiality.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Revelation 2