Ezekiel next delivered a series of messages concerning the chosen nation. The first message described the function and responsibilities of the prophet under the figure of a watchman. In the day of danger a watchman was appointed to give notice of the approach of an enemy. If he did his duty and his warning was not heeded, the blood of the slain would be on their own heads. If he failed to give warning and people were slain their blood would be on his head. That was the position occupied by Ezekiel. Set by Jehovah as a watchman for Israel, his duty was to hear the word from the mouth of the Lord and deliver it to the people. If he did so, and the wicked persisted in wickedness, the soul of the prophet would be delivered.
He was then to declare to the people who were lamenting the judgment of their sins that Jehovah had no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked should turn from his ways and live. Past acts of righteousness would not atone for present transgression. Past sin would be pardoned if the sinner turned to Jehovah. On the basis of this announcement the prophet defended Jehovah against the people who charged Him with being unequal in His ways.
Immediately after the delivery of this message, fugitives from the sack of Jerusalem came to the prophet. This had been foretold (24:25-27), and the prophet had been instructed that when they came his mouth would be opened and he would be no more dumb. This prophecy he now declared was fulfilled, and he opened his mouth and foretold that desolation of the land was still determined, and that even those left in the waste places would be destroyed.
This message closed with a rebuke of the people, who, aroused and even interested by the messages of the prophet, had gathered together to hear them, being interested in them as those would be who listened to a lovely song and a pleasant voice and capable playing on an instrument. Their interest was sensual rather than spiritual. The difference between the two may always be detected by the consequent attitude of those who hear. Sensuality hears and does nothing. Spirituality hears and obeys.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ezekiel 33". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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