Worship II Day 15 Where’s Your Mountain: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, Where’s Your Mountain?

Ezekiel 33:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

“So you, son of man, I have 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, O 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.

The Questions

1) What is the context of this passage?

2) Who does the metaphor of the “watchman” refer to?

3) Was Ezekiel responsible for everyone’s soul that he did not warn about coming judgment? Are believers today responsible in the same way?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is the context of this passage?
The Jewish nation had been taken captive into Babylon by the Persian Empire under Cyrus because of their disobedience to God and continuous willingness to play the whore and worship false gods in place of Yahweh, their covenant God. The prophets Daniel and Jeremiah were contemporaries of Ezekiel during this period. Ezekiel prophesizes to the Jews who still remained in Jerusalem for the second invasion of the Persians. Daniel was ahead of him in Babylon, having been already taken captive during the first siege under Nebuchadnezzar. Ezekiel was a prophet tasked with sharing the important word from the Lord of impending consequences if they continued to be unfaithful to God.

2) Who does the metaphor of the “watchman” refer to?
Ezekiel is here describing to his hearers the role God had given him as “watchman”; he had a responsibility to warn the Jewish people that the “sword” or judgement was coming. God never stopped loving His people, as evidenced by His continuous grace of sending prophets to provide opportunity after opportunity for His people to return to Him. God’s love for His people was so deep that Ezekiel’s consequence for failing to speak His words would result in greater judgment on Ezekiel. If Ezekiel didn’t speak God’s word, the people’s choice to disobey fell on Ezekiel and he would carry the burden of having allowed them to fall into death when he had the clear warning to bring life. Ezekiel was the nation’s God-appointed “watchman”.

3) Was Ezekiel responsible for everyone’s soul that he did not warn about coming judgment?
This passage is very clear that God would hold Ezekiel to account if he did not warn the Jewish nation of their impending doom and consequence for their sin. The Lord is showing them mercy, giving them a gracious opportunity to turn back to Him with a full heart of repentance. His love for them is so great that He is willing to lay a heavy burden of consequence on Ezekiel if he doesn’t speak boldly of God’s Word. However, while Ezekiel would be “brought to account” with the cost of his life, the people could not use as an excuse “Your watchman didn’t warn me”.  Verse 8 says, “and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity.” No man is without excuse for returning to the Lord.

The Everyday Application

1) What is the context of this passage?
The first audience to Ezekiel’s words had been warned before of God’s coming judgment on them for their disobedience, but the Lord in His great love, was calling them again to repentance. He could have forced their hearts to turn, or shown Himself in great visions to all the people, but instead He, the Lord Almighty, chose a human agent. Ezekiel was an ordinary man who loved God wholeheartedly, and God called Him to share His message of life changing truth to a specific people at a specific time. My sisters, we are not different. The circumstances are different to be sure, but God’s pursuing love, His desire to see hearts turned back to Him, and His willingness to use us, regular, everyday women, are unchanging. Who will you engage today?!

2) Who does the metaphor of the “watchman” refer to?
Today, we don’t use the same language of “watchmen” when we reference believers, but we are called to be servants of Christ Jesus, appointed for His service within the Body of Christ. Take a minute to read 1 Timothy chapter 1 and take note of our charge and calling as servants of Christ. Upholding sound doctrine, living a life permeated with deep, genuine love, and faithfully holding out the sweet fullness of the gospel are responsibilities we are entrusted with when we become Christ followers. Grow deep in these! Study God’s Word and line up your life and beliefs with solid truth as you invite and engage those around you into the richness of following Jesus!

3) Was Ezekiel responsible for everyone’s soul that he did not warn about coming judgment?
Ezekiel was tasked with a significant message, one that came with great consequence if he did not follow through on being obedient to the Lord and speaking it. To say that this directly applies to believers or pastors in 2017 would not be accurate. The Lord is not saying that He will demand our life from us if we do not declare Him. But, what we can take away is that verbally sharing of the salvation offered freely and solely through Jesus Christ, is of extreme importance to God. (Psalm 51:13, James 5:19-20) The Lord has called believers today to boldly declare, sing, and share of what He has done for us. The New Testament is replete with commands to proclaim Him, and we would be foolish to ignore those calls. Sharing the gospel with our tongues is not a job only for pastors behind a pulpit, it’s for everyone who calls Jesus “Lord”!  Romans 10:14-17

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, Where’s Your Mountain?
Sign up to receive every Journey to your inbox!

I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into
Worship II Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.

Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Worship II