ezekiel 33.1-11 Watch, Trust, Follow in Faith JUMC 20110904

Ezekiel Israel’s Sentinel

The word of the Lord came to me: 2O Mortal, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one of their number as their sentinel; 3and if the sentinel sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people; 4then if any who hear the sound of the trumpet do not take warning, and the sword comes and takes them away, their blood shall be upon their own heads. 5They heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; their blood shall be upon themselves. But if they had taken warning, they would have saved their lives. 6But if the sentinel sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any of them, they are taken away in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at the sentinel’s hand.

7 So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8If I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked ones, you shall surely die’, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. 9But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life. 10 Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: ‘Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?’ 11Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? ezekiel 33.1-6,7-11 NRSV

Before the water released out of the dam each evening into the Taccoa, a horn would sound, and the height would rise 2-4 feet and the speed of the water flow would more than 2x-4x. Saving fishermen, tubers and kayakers.

Some criticized the weather focusers for over reacting to such wide spread evacuation of New York. But it was up to the residents, to listen to the warning and live with the consequences of their action or NON-actions.

Ezekiel is the sentinel, prophet. The messenger of God’s message.

Q: Have you heard people, movies, television shows, internet theories speak about the signs of the end times. What do you say? One count down clock. 472-3 days until the end…

We have to balance that with “no one knows the day or hour” with Jesus condemnation that “you watch the sky and know what the weather is going to be”…

The lesson is to look for the signs, and act accordingly.

In driving, no one knows exactly when you might run off the road, but your watch the signs that say, steep grade, sharp curve, or fall rock, because the likelihood is greater at certain times and places.

BE ON GUARD.

The emphasis on our text is the role of the prophet and our participation in the warnings.

1) sometimes you are the prophet for someone else…

2) honestly we are not usually the prophet, we are in the role of hearing the warning of others.

3) decreeing GOD-ly prophet, is the one sharing God’s message.

not always easy to hear… the task then is to pray for the sentinel to be clear…

not get rid of the bad guy/gal or make him/her stop… it is speak so I can hear and know your heart.

4) Once you have heard God’s contemporary message, follow, do it, trust it, step out in faith.

Do you get the weather report for the year and never listen again?

Do you read your bank statement/investments once a year and write all the checks you like without following up?

Do you look for traffic only in one direction and drive on without concern for the other?

Look for the signs, Be Alert. Follow their warning, and you will be saved unnecessary trouble, even your life.

I’m looking for signs.. because the time is not known.

I’m following the warning… because its time for caution and concern.

I’m going to keep living in faith, that God is at work in the world, universe, and our hearts now as always.

That will never change, even if all else is up-side-down.

That’s what it means to meet him at his table and trust his grace… Here are two signs. Bread / Cup.

When are you going to need God’s grace, don’t exactly know the hour and day, but I know will need them.

Come on to dinner, now. (That is the prophet, sentinel’s message.)

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