By Chris G
One of the chapters in my devotional reading a while back was Ezekiel 33. If you're familiar with Ezekiel, you might recall that it can be a little bit hard on the brain with all the imagery, visions, and prophecies that the Lord gives Ezekiel while he is in exile (in Babylon). The first nine verses of Ezekiel 33, though, are a like a clear pane in an otherwise frosted or stained-glass window.
In short, the Lord is telling Ezekiel that he is a watchman for Israel. The watchman's role is to be on the alert, eyes open, scanning for impending danger. When the watchman sees danger coming, it is his job to warn the people so that they might be saved/delivered/protected. The Lord tells Ezekiel that he is the spiritual watchman for the people of Israel and that when the Lord gives words of warning to Ezekiel, he must tell them to the people or else the Lord will hold him (Ezekiel) responsible for the people's failure to repent.
As men and women redeemed by Christ, we are watchmen with so much more of the Word of God than even Ezekiel had. And it is our calling--yea, God's will for us--to warn those around us of danger we see coming to their lives, whether that be from the trappings of the world, damaging relationships, or anything else about which the Lord has spoken in His Word. We are around folks every day and week who are heading toward destruction. I pray that the Lord opens all of our eyes (mine included) to see this and to stir a desperation within us to "hold them back".
"Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back."
~Proverbs 24:11 (NASB)