The Watchman's Responsibility
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”
The watchman's responsibility was to protect those in his city. The watchmen stood in a tower and looked afar to see if the enemy was coming to destroy the city. If the watchmen saw the enemy coming, his responsibility was to blow the trumpet and warn the city that an enemy was coming to destroy them. God said that if the watchman did not blow the trumpet and warn the city of the impending danger, that city's blood would be upon the watchman's hand.
God then pivoted to Ezekiel and told him that he was the watchman for Israel. No, he was not the one who stood in the tower and looked for the enemy coming from another country, but he was God’s prophet who was supposed to warn Israel of their sin and anything that would keep Israel from serving God. God said that if when He spoke and Ezekiel did not tell the people what He said, that God would hold him accountable for not warning the people.
Just as Ezekiel was the watchman for Israel, so is every pastor a watchman for his church. No, we are not to build walls around our church and live in a compound, but we are to build walls around our lives to protect us from worldly, sinful and compromising influences that would destroy our walk with God. God shows three responsibilities of every pastor as a watchman of his church.
First, the pastor is to hear God's Word. God said to Ezekiel, “thou shalt hear the word at my mouth.” In other words, it is the responsibility of every pastor to have a personal walk with God. God speaks to us through his Word and through our prayer time. You cannot hear God’s Word if you wait until Saturday night to find a sermon to preach to your people. My friend, God doesn't want your people to hear a sermon; He wants them to hear His Word that they need for that week. They will never hear His Word if the pastor is not spending time walking with Him in the Scriptures walking with Him in prayer.
Second, the pastor is to speak God's Word. Preaching what God wants your people to hear will not always make you the most popular person, but God holds you accountable for whether you speak what He told you to say in His Word. Too many preachers are concerned with being liked by the people instead of being in favor with God. I would rather be in favor with God and preach what is unpopular than preach what is popular and lose God's favor on my life. God's Word is not always popular, but it is always right, and it always leads God's people to blessings if they follow what He tells them to do.
Third, the pastor is to look for that which would destroy God’s people. There were times when God spoke to the watchmen, but there were also times when the watchman looked afar and a saw danger that could hurt the people inside the city. The pastor is to see what is going on in the present day that would hurt the people, and it is his responsibility to warn the church through preaching. The pastor is to see what could cause the church to compromise and warn it of that compromise that would pull them away from God to their hurt. Yes, the pastor is to preach God’s Word and warn of dangers he sees, but it is the listener’s responsibility to heed the warning a live their life accordingly.