I listen to the Trumpet of Jesus
While the world hears a different sound
I march to the trumpet of God Almighty
While the others just wander around
I’m a member of the Holy Ghost traveling band
I’m moving up to a better land
I hear the voice of a Supernatural Savior
Like only those who know Him can…

(Russ Taff, composer, Trumpet of Jesus)

God has called Ezekiel to be a prophet of warning to His people.  In this chapter, God is reminding Ezekiel of his specific job description with what to say to people who are calling God unfair in His ways, while the people continue to sin in their perverted ways.  God reminded His prophet that he had been commissioned to be a watchman with the task of protecting and informing the people of impending danger by keeping his eyes open to what was happening and his ears open to what God was saying.

One sweet sound makes
A whole world of difference
When the world seems indifferent to you
His Melody of love calls you to be great
when mere content was all you thought you could do
So if you’ve been playin’ all your days by ear
Never knowin’ what your song was to be
Then pull up a chair, let down your hair
And take a few lessons from me…

(Russ Taff, Composer, Trumpet of Jesus)

Ezekiel 33, The Message

You Are the Watchman

1-5 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people. Tell them, ‘If I bring war on this land and the people take one of their citizens and make him their watchman, and if the watchman sees war coming and blows the trumpet, warning the people, then if anyone hears the sound of the trumpet and ignores it and war comes and takes him off, it’s his own fault. He heard the alarm, he ignored it—it’s his own fault. If he had listened, he would have saved his life.

“‘But if the watchman sees war coming and doesn’t blow the trumpet, warning the people, and war comes and takes anyone off, I’ll hold the watchman responsible for the bloodshed of any unwarned sinner.’

7-9 You, son of man, are the watchman. I’ve made you a watchman for Israel. The minute you hear a message from me, warn them. If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked man, wicked woman, you’re on the fast track to death!’ and you don’t speak up and warn the wicked to change their ways, the wicked will die unwarned in their sins and I’ll hold you responsible for their bloodshed. But if you warn the wicked to change their ways and they don’t do it, they’ll die in their sins well-warned and at least you will have saved your own life.

10 Son of man, speak to Israel. Tell them, ‘You’ve said, “Our rebellions and sins are weighing us down. We’re wasting away. How can we go on living?”’

11 Tell them, ‘As sure as I am the living God, I take no pleasure from the death of the wicked. I want the wicked to change their ways and live. Turn your life around! Reverse your evil ways! Why die, Israel?’

12-13 There’s more, son of man. Tell your people, ‘A good person’s good life won’t save him when he decides to rebel, and a bad person’s bad life won’t prevent him from repenting of his rebellion. A good person who sins can’t expect to live when he chooses to sin. It’s true that I tell good people, “Live! Be alive!” But if they trust in their good deeds and turn to evil, that good life won’t amount to a hill of beans. They’ll die for their evil life.

14-16 “‘On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, “You’ll die for your wicked life,” and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life—being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don’t hurt others—he’ll live. He won’t die. None of his sins will be kept on the books. He’s doing what’s right, living a good life. He’ll live.

17-19 “‘Your people say, “The Master’s way isn’t fair.” But it’s the way they’re living that isn’t fair. When good people turn back from living good lives and plunge into sin, they’ll die for it. And when a wicked person turns away from his wicked life and starts living a just and righteous life, he’ll come alive.

20 “‘Still, you keep on saying, “The Master’s way isn’t fair.” We’ll see, Israel. I’ll decide on each of you exactly according to how you live.’”

* * *

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth day of the tenth month, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city’s fallen.”

22 The evening before the survivor arrived, the hand of God had been on me and restored my speech. By the time he arrived in the morning I was able to speak. I could talk again.

23-24 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, those who are living in the ruins back in Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man and he owned the whole country. But there are lots of us. Our ownership is even more certain.’

25-26 “So tell them, ‘God the Master says, You eat flesh that contains blood, you worship no-god idols, you murder at will—and you expect to own this land? You rely on the sword, you engage in obscenities, you indulge in sex at random—anyone, anytime. And you still expect to own this land?’

27-28 Tell them this, Ezekiel: ‘The Message of God, the Master. As sure as I am the living God, those who are still alive in the ruins will be killed. Anyone out in the field I’ll give to wild animals for food. Anyone hiding out in mountain forts and caves will die of disease. I’ll make this country an empty wasteland—no more arrogant bullying! Israel’s mountains will become dangerously desolate. No one will dare pass through them.’

29 They’ll realize that I am God when I devastate the country because of all the obscenities they’ve practiced.

30-32 As for you, son of man, you’ve become quite the talk of the town. Your people meet on street corners and in front of their houses and say, ‘Let’s go hear the latest news from God.’ They show up, as people tend to do, and sit in your company. They listen to you speak, but don’t do a thing you say. They flatter you with compliments, but all they care about is making money and getting ahead. To them you’re merely entertainment—a country singer of sad love songs, playing a guitar. They love to hear you talk, but nothing comes of it.

33 “But when all this happens—and it is going to happen!—they’ll realize that a prophet was among them.”


“The most important characteristic about prophets is not that they have hindsight or foresight but that they have insight. Prophetic hindsight is important because it helps us deal with the past and understand better what God did and why He did it. Foresight helps us avoid trouble and have hope for the future. But insight helps us better understand ourselves and those around us, and what we must do to become better men and women who do the will of God.” –Warren Wiersbe  (Emphasis mine.)

Ezekiel tells the people exactly what God expects from them concerning their sins.  Repent and live.  Act like you are good but still sin and you will die.  It’s pretty simple language with an explanation of outcomes for those who sin.  It all seems pretty fair but people who can’t see or hear God above their sins think God is completely unfair. 

From time to time, we hear ourselves say, “Why is this happening to me?”  “How long must I go through this storm?” Some hindsight and foresight along with some insight, asking God for wisdom and understanding might go a long way to explain our current circumstances.  But beyond the circumstances we must believe that God is fair and God is there—when we repent and ask for His help in it and through it.  In the getting “through it,” He teaches us and transform us to be better and live better by coming alive in Him. 

Today, God’s salvation and transformation plan for us is Jesus.  Jesus, Holy and Perfect Son of God, came down to earth to pay our debt of sin.  Completely and forever.  Our part is to repent, believe and follow with an honest and sincere heart, clear mind and filled soul.  God gives us his saving grace, what we do not deserve and did not earn. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  John 3:16-17

Yes, what God has done through Jesus seem more than fair…how about you?

A spiritual fanfare has a sound all it’s own
At the birth of a lasting song
It’s been two thousand years since Jesus was born
And still the celebration goes on
If you feel the need to get your life in tune
‘Cause you’re tired of the drudge every day
Then turn yourself around,
Put your feet on the ground
and just hear what I have to say…

I listen to the Trumpet of Jesus
While the world hears a different sound
I march to the trumpet of God Almighty
While the others just wander around
I’m a member of the Holy Ghost traveling band
I’m moving up to a better land
I hear the voice of a Supernatural Savior
Like only those who know Him can…

(Russ Taff, Composer, Trumpet of Jesus)

Listen for the trumpet call to come to Jesus!


God you are not mere entertainment to us.  What you say is holy.  What you tell us do is imperative for us to grow in our faith, hope and love.  Thank you for saving us and making us whole. Thank you for cleansing us of all that offends you.  Continue to give us wisdom, insight and understanding to know sin when it presents itself so that we can avoid it at all costs. We know this is a matter of life or death with you.  Don’t allow us to think we are “good” when only you are good because only you are God.  We are not.  We need you every hour of every day.  I’m listening for you, Lord.  Help me to warn others!

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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