“At the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me: Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give them no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Again, if the righteous turn from their righteousness and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before them, they shall die; because you have not warned them, they shall die for their sin, and their righteous deeds that they have done shall not be remembered; but their blood I will require at your hand. If, however, you warn the righteous not to sin, and they do not sin, they shall surely live, because they took warning; and you will have saved your life.” Ezekiel 3:16-21
“A sentinel clearly warns a city of impending catastrophe! That is all. If he does not warn or warns ambiguously, the people do not know of the danger. They will perish and he himself will pay. If he warns and his hearers pay no heed, they may perish, but he will save his own life. The sentinel image also raise hope – the people may hear and thus be saved.” Wesley Study Bible notes, pg 987
Preachers are sometimes called to be sentinels, to cry out a warning – to be prophetic voices in the ears of those they are called to preach to whether or not those people listen. O God I pray that I speak your Word to your people. Whether they hear or refuse to hear … they shall know that there has been a prophet among them. That I not be afraid to speak truth, not be afraid of stinging rebellious words spoken by those who refuse to hear and obey. That I stand firm in obedience to you O God. That I stand firm in your infallible Word, trusting your truth and never caving to whims of the world around me. That I stand firm in your grace, living by, for and with grace surrounded by and reinforced with your truth. That I be the sentinel you call me to be, providing advanced warning to those you expect me to protect.