Many resent being told that they are wrong or in danger. When Jesus accurately described the dangers of the scribes and Pharisees, they planned how they could kill Him. When Paul preached Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the Gentiles were glad, but the Jews were often jealous and persecuted him (cf. Acts). Today, when a preacher proclaims God's word and condemns false doctrine or worldliness, it is often unpopular and the preacher may be rejected.
Although it is a difficult and potentially alienating task, watchmen must still look for dangers and be willing to warn people about them. Much of the teaching of Jesus and other inspired men focused on warning of dangers. For example:
Warnings like these (and others) were appreciated by the godly but resented by the guilty--and so it is today! Spiritual watchmen must cry aloud and not be silent, regardless of the consequences. Isaiah 58:1 instructs - "Lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." But often, the wicked do not want to be warned. Isaiah 30:9-11 states - "That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Who say to the seers, 'Do not see,' and to the prophets, 'Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.'"
The watchman had to warn the people in order to deliver his own soul. Consider several passages that establish this truth:
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul." Watchmen who remain silent will not be held guiltless when judgment comes. Watchmen must issue appropriate warnings.
The spiritual work of watchmen is so vitally important. We will conclude this study in our next lesson.