1 Samuel 24:5
"David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe." (NIV)
Saul was doing everything in his power to kill David. David's conscience bothered him about cutting off a small piece of Saul's robe? This does not appear to be that big a deal, does it? How seared is my conscience?
But Proverbs 24:21 says, "Fear the LORD and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise." Romans 13:1 says, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." In the same passage, Romans 13:5 says, "Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience." Titus 3:1 says, "Be submissive to rulers and authorities." 1 Peter 2:13-17 says, "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by him.....Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor".
David's response was very Scriptural.
LORD God, forgive my attitude of questioning authority. As the Sovereign LORD, there is no authority except from You. Holy Spirit, if the actions of those in authority are deserving of a challenge, please teach me when and how to respond.
I have spoken before of passages of Scripture that force me to stop. This passage is one of those.
As a watchman, chosen by God, Ezekiel is to warn both the wicked and the righteous. Whatever the LORD told him to say, Ezekiel was to say to all of Israel. If he failed to caution them of the danger and they die, God will hold him responsible. If, however, he warns them as God instructs and they die, he will save himself. Ezekiel is accountable to faithfully speak not only as a warning for the hearer but as security for his soul. Ezekiel is responsible to give God's warning. The decision of repentance is upon the hearer.
So the question seems to be "Who is a watchman?" Is this message only for Ezekiel, or is it for all believers? It sure would be simpler if this is just for Ezekiel, wouldn't it? Ezekiel is the only prophet identified as a watchman. However, Hosea 9:8 says, "The prophet is the watchman of Ephraim with my God."
In Acts 20:26 Paul, speaking to the elders of the church at Ephesus, says, "I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God." Hebrews 13:17 says, " Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will give account." So, prophets, apostles, and shepherds/pastors/elders are watchmen. Proverbs 31:27, speaking of the excellent wife, says, "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." The word translated "look" is the same Hebrew word in Ezekiel for "watchman." So, an excellent wife is a watchman over her household.
Whew, that leaves me out! Or does it?
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." So, for whom am I to be watchful? Just myself?
Judge of all the earth, the One who discerns the thought and intents of man's heart, please give me a watchman's heart, eye, and mouth. I pray that for all Your children. You have placed people in our care and under our authority. Please cause us to see them from Your perspective with an eye toward eternity. Please provide whatever we need to be your watchmen, even if it is a hard forehead.