Ezekiel's duty as a watchman. (1-9) He is to vindicate the
Divine government. (10-20) The desolation of Judea. (21-29)
Judgments on the mockers of the prophets. (30-33)
The prophet is a watchman to the house of Israel. His
business is to warn sinners of their misery and danger. He must
warn the wicked to turn from their way, that they may live. If
souls perish through his neglect of duty, he brings guilt upon
himself. See what those have to answer for, who make excuses for
sin, flatter sinners, and encourage them to believe they shall
have peace, though they go on. How much wiser are men in their
temporal than in their spiritual concerns! They set watchmen to
guard their houses, and sentinels to warn of the enemies'
approach, but where the everlasting happiness or misery of the
soul is at stake, they are offended if ministers obey their
Master's command, and give a faithful warning; they would rather
perish, listening to smooth things.
Those who despaired of finding mercy with God, are
answered with a solemn declaration of God's readiness to show
mercy. The ruin of the city and state was determined, but that
did not relate to the final state of persons. God says to the
righteous, that he shall surely live. But many who have made
profession, have been ruined by proud confidence in themselves.
Man trusts to his own righteousness, and presuming on his own
sufficiency, he is brought to commit iniquity. If those who have
lived a wicked life repent and forsake their wicked ways, they
shall be saved. Many such amazing and blessed changes have been
wrought by the power of Divine grace. When there is a settled
separation between a man and sin, there shall no longer be a
separation between him and God.
Those are unteachable indeed, who do not learn their
dependence upon God, when all creature-comforts fail. Many claim
an interest in the peculiar blessings to true believers, while
their conduct proves them enemies of God. They call this
groundless presumption strong faith, when God's testimony
declares them entitled to his threatenings, and nothing else.
Unworthy and corrupt motives often lead men to the places
where the word of God is faithfully preached. Many come to find
somewhat to oppose: far more come of curiosity or mere habit.
Men may have their hearts changed. But whether men hear or
forbear, they will know by the event that a servant of God has
been among them. All who will not know the worth of mercies by
the improvement of them, will justly be made to know their worth
by the want of them.