Ezekiel 33:1-6 (NIV) — “The word of the Lord came to me, ‘Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’”
The Old Testament book of Ezekiel is 48 chapters. There are three chapters that have held my attention since I first read them.
Chapter 2 begins with “He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.’”
I find this sentence utterly intriguing. For me it was a biblical confirmation to what Christians were telling me about God wanting a personal relationship. That one line spoke more to my spirit than so many things I had read or heard. What my spirit heard was, “Get up. Don’t bow. Don’t grovel. Stand up. Pay attention. I will speak to you.”
In my Jewish study Bible that same verse says, “He said to me, ‘Human being! Stand up! I want to speak to you!
Grammar isn’t a particular strong point for me, mainly because I write like I speak rather than the standard rules of grammar.
The way the Jewish Study Bible shows three exclamation marks in that one verse compared to the NIV that has none. Whew, to me it clearly says: Focus up!
I couldn’t resist the word search for “Son of man” used in the NIV (New International Version).
The phrase, “Son of man” is used 93 times in this book of Ezekiel. Basically, “Son of Adam” based on Genesis 2:7 – “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Jesus used it in Matthew 8:20, 26:64 and Mark 13:26.
It’s always good to remember: Context. Context. Context.
Continuing with Ezekiel 2:4-5a: “The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ and whether they listen or fail to listen — for they are a rebellious people.”
Chapter 3 of Ezekiel is also one of those that impacted me. What became a particular point of influence was 3:20-21: “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered. And I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
Have you heard this saying, “Doing the Most Good”?
It’s not intended to be a competitive motto, rather a statement of commitment: doing the most good with what you are given, with what you have.
To me it’s about personal accountability.
There’s an old saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” It comes from Genesis 4:9.
Biblical guidance for such an occasion of personal accountability can be found in Galatians 6:1-4: “Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.”
Ha, ha, ha! Knowing something and living it isn’t necessarily the same thing.
I definitely find some days trickier than others and often cling to 2 Corinthians 12:9a: “But He said unto me, ‘My Grace is Sufficient.’”
This is where !!! would come in.