Keeping the status quo… being the good guy… staying quiet… it’s a good place to be, isn’t it? Telling people they are wrong often brings hostility. Why be the bad guy.. why rock the boat?
But that is not the way God wants His children to be. He told Ezekiel that being the ‘watchman’, Ezekiel is accountable to Him for not warning bad people of their wrongdoing. It does not matter that the wrongdoer did not listen to his warning. It matters that Ezekiel did his job to reprimand and warn them of their sins. (Eze 33:1-9)
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’
7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.
Today, Christians might not claim to have heard God speak to us saying: Go, rebuke so and so for he is wrong or they are wrong. We need to be truly discerning – reading the Bible, listening attentively to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We need to be brave to speak out against evil even when we are standing alone. It is easy to stand with the majority. It is easy to talk of what’s right with people who believe in the same as we do. But when I am alone, do I dare to speak out against the wrong? In the end, I am accountable to God and no one else.