HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Now frankly, I think that the verses that follow are among the most disturbing in the Bible. Next, we see . . .
3. THE WATCHMAN’S ASSESSMENT (verses 4-6).
If the watchman is faithful to his task, he sees the danger and sounds the alarm to his people. And if someone hears the alarm, but does not take warning. and if the sword comes and takes him, then this passage tells us, “his blood shall be on his own head”. He will be responsible for his own loss. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but he chose to ignore the warning. And of course, if he does take warning, he will save his life.
But what if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet? Perhaps he falls asleep on the job. Or perhaps he sees the danger but fails to recognize it for what it is. Or perhaps he is negligent. Or perhaps he plays the wrong sound on the trumpet and gives a confused alarm. Or it could even be that, perhaps, he is hard-hearted and malicious; willing to see his people fall victim to the sword.
For whatever reason, suppose the watchman doesn’t give the alarm to his people. Suppose he fails to be faithful to his task. The people, of course, will not be warned; and as the Scriptures here say, the sword comes and takes some man away “in his iniquity”. He is receiving the judgment of God. But “his blood”, God says, “I will require at the watchman’s hand.”
So then; if the watchman is faithful, he is not held guilty–even if the people do not heed the warning. But if he is not faithful, and the people do not heed a warning that they did not receive, God holds them responsible for their sin, and He holds the watchman guilty for their death! It’s hard for me to imagine anything more dreadful than the spiritual implications of this!
For pastors and teachers, it reminds me of the Apostle James’ sober words in James 3:1; “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” It is an unspeakably horrible thing for a pastor or preacher or teacher in the church to be a silent “watchman” who do not preach God’s word, or to be a confusing “watchmen” who mixes God’s word with an error. Such preachers will lead the people entrusted to them astray.
The people to whom they speak will not be able to heed the warning that God sends to them, because they never heard it. They will not repent and escape the coming wrath, because they were not clearly urged to do so. The people will bear the guilt of their own sin and iniquity, and that’s terrible enough. But what dreadful wrath will fall upon those who should have been their faithful watchmen–who, as the Bible says, will receive a “stricter judgment” for their failure?
And again, I remind you that the warning isn’t just for pastors. Do you have opportunities and open doors that the Lord lays before you to speak the warning to those in your sphere? And have you remained silent when you should have spoken out? I call on all ministers, Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarhs, Evangelists, mothers, Reverends and the list will go on and on because it is our responsibility to preach and warn the people by the words of God and through our lives, Remember that our lives are the greatest teacher to the population we minister to daily.
May God have mercy on us all!