Dear Disciples of Christ,
How would you define “success” for a watchdog? Many of us get annoyed by constantly barking dogs. But we do appreciate it when they bark to warn us or to ward off unwelcome visitors. I’d define “successful watchdogs” as ones that bark when needed to protect me from danger.
God also uses “watchdogs” to protect us from danger. He calls them “watchmen” and they serve the same purpose. In the days of the prophets, like Ezekiel, each city had watchmen that raised the alarm when danger approached. Their noisy warnings alerted people living outside the city walls to danger so they could move to safety inside the walls. If the people ignored them, they did so at their own peril. But, if watchmen remained silent, failing to alert people to danger, they could be subjected to death for their silence.
God calls His prophets “watchmen” because He expects them to raise the alarm to people about the dangers of sin and death. He says, “Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.” (Ezekiel 33:7) God’s not just telling Ezekiel this, but all God’s people – especially those He’s placed in responsibility to teach others about His Word – pastors, teachers, parents, and others. If we who know God’s Word fail to speak His warnings to others who are falling short, God tells us that not only will they suffer the eternal consequence of their sin, but so will we. However, if we speak the truth of His Word to those falling short and they ignore us, they do so at their own peril; but we shall be delivered. (Ezekiel 33:8-9)
It's often hard to speak God’s truth into the world today. But when we do, God commends us for our faithfulness. So let us lovingly bark God’s Word into His creation when we can that many might be led by the Holy Spirit into the safety of His mighty fortress – receiving His forgiveness in His church on earth and eternal life in His kingdom of heaven.
In Christ’s Love,