Live with Urgency (Ezekiel 33:7–9) - Radical

Live with Urgency (Ezekiel 33:7–9)

So you, son of man, I’ve made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “Oh wicked one, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
– Ezekiel 33:7–9

Oh, what a powerful picture, and we’ve referenced this at different points because this is familiar imagery that we see in the Bible, this depiction, specifically here of Ezekiel as a watchman for the house of Israel. Someone who is looking out for their good, who is watching out for danger that is coming and warning the people when danger is coming, and that’s the watchman’s responsibility. If the watchman sees danger coming and says nothing, then they are accountable for what happens to those people in a very real sense.

Ezekiel 33:7–9 Provides a Spiritual Warning

Now, obviously the picture here is spiritual warning. Spiritual judgment is coming, and God makes clear that people who experience his judgment will do so because of their own sin. The language here is clear. The wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but God says, “His blood I will require at your hand,” so there is absolutely a sense of accountability for someone who knows judgment is coming but stays silent with that news.

Did you hear that? That there is before God, a somber, serious accountability that we have. We who know that judgment is coming, we who know that the penalty for sin is death, eternal death, everlasting suffering, that we who know this have a responsibility before God and before others to tell people it’s coming.

Ezekiel 33:7–9 Pray for Kids in Schools

So God, help us to be faithful watchman. God, I pray this over my life. I pray this over every single person who’s listening to this right now, who knows your salvation, who knows that we have been saved from judgment that’s coming and we know it’s coming on all the people we’ll see today and all the peoples in the world. So God, help us today to live with urgency, to share the gospel with somebody today, to warn somebody. To use language from verse nine here in Ezekiel 33, to warn the wicked to turn from his way.

God, I pray for kids in schools who have opportunities today to warn their friends that judgment for sin is coming and Jesus has made salvation possible. God, give kids and students, teenagers boldness to share that news today with somebody. Pray the same over college students who are listening to this on college campuses, for young adults and young professionals in different areas of work.

God, for everyone who’s in work today, who’s going about in the community, in the city where they live, for each of us, God, help us to see the people around us as in danger of judgment and help us to see ourselves with the greatest news in the world in our possession, that salvation from judgment is possible through Jesus.

Grant Us Compassion for People

God, grant us compassion for people around us, boldness that would cause us to share the gospel with them. God, we pray that you would help us to be faithful watchman, faithful watchman among the nations, God, as we pray today for Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and in Gaza. I think about going there years ago on a mission trip and serving alongside some of the few Christians who were there among five million people. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel among Palestinian Arabs.

I’ve got names and faces in my mind. God, I pray for them. We pray for the spread of the gospel in this part of the world, in the West Bank, in Gaza where there has been so much strife and tension. God, we pray for the peace of Jesus to be made known there, for the warning of eternal judgment that’s coming and the good news of salvation to spread among Palestinian Arabs. God, we pray for that in our lives, around the world. Help us as your church to be faithful watchman. In Jesus’ name we pray according to this picture in Ezekiel 33. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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