During one of my recent treasured walks with my Dad, I shared with him my frustration over my latest Bible study. I have been slogging my way through Ezekiel over the past several months, and that morning I despaired that I would NEVER reach the end. Don’t get me wrong—Ezekiel is a fascinating book, full of interesting illustrations such as strange flying creatures, edible scrolls, and dry bones coming to life. But by the time I hit Ezekiel 32, I felt completely depressed and helpless. Page after page about God’s people turning away from Him to idols, stubbornly walking their own way, and relying on their own strength or the strength of other nations for their deliverance highlighted for me the frightening parallels between ancient Israel/Judah and modern day America. For Israel/Judah, God’s discipline was immanent; how close is America to receiving similar discipline? And, as I queried my Dad that morning, what can I really do about it? My single vote does not amount to much, and who’s to say politics can solve any of our problems anyway?
–At this point I must interject that it is unwise to vocalize a question like that to God unless you are prepared for the answer–
The very next day, I turned the page to Ezekiel 33, and God’s answer to my question stared me right in the face. God said to Ezekiel, “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel.” A watchman? What does that mean? Then my heart began to pound and panic set in as I read God’s job description for Ezekiel. Ezekiel was to speak God’s words to his people, confronting them with their sin. If he did his job and the people ignored him, no worries (for him, anyway!). If he did not open his mouth, however, HE would be held responsible for the peoples’ sin! Terrifying! I cried out, “Lord, what does this mean for me? I can’t just go around confronting people with their sin, telling them to repent or else face Your discipline!” But as I thought and prayed over this watchman concept, I realized that we all have a sphere of influence, no matter how small. I may not have a national audience like Ezekiel did, but I am a mother, a family member, a church member, and a friend. And confrontation would not be my responsibility, but rather lovingly teaching/presenting God’s living and active Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the convicting and transforming (Hebrews 4:12).
Oh Lord, may I be available to You and empowered by You to teach, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness through your Word and in my small corner of the world (2 Timothy 3:16).