“Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.”
When I think of winning combinations, I think of things that by themselves are good, but together they make something great. For instance, peanut butter and jelly, beef and potatoes, coffee and doughnuts, and peanut butter and chocolate are winning combinations that most everyone enjoys. By themselves, each of these are good, but when you put them together, the combination makes a great taste.
In the verse above, God gives the winning combination for the Christian. This chapter is the warning of Ezekiel to the nation of Israel to heed the messages of the prophets. God’s winning combination for every Christian to succeed is for the LORD to give the message, the trumpeter to sound that message clearly, and the listener to heed the sound of the trumpet. When you get all of these together, you get a winning combination that will never fail. Let me discuss each ingredient and its importance to your life.
First, the message of the LORD is what every person needs to succeed in the Christian life. We live in times when many Christians depend on worldly influences or religious voices instead of going to the LORD to find out what He wants them to do. Christian, the most important thing you need to be successful in your life is the message of the LORD. This is why it is so important to read the Scriptures daily, and attend a church where the preacher preaches God’s Word without apology. The preacher’s opinion is not, and has never been a part of the winning combination. You had better be sure your pastor is a man of God’s Word who preaches the whole Book without apology, and not just the portions that he enjoys.
The second ingredient that is important is the trumpeter clearly sounding the message the LORD gives. The trumpeter is the preacher. Every man of God needs to be sure that the message they preach is clear so that the hearer doesn’t question what they should do. In this chapter, God puts the responsibility on the watchman to sound the trumpet when the LORD speaks. Preacher, you need to be sure that you are preaching God’s Word clearly, and not withholding parts of it because it is inconvenient or not popular. The job of the preacher is to preach the Word. We will never have the winning combination when preachers are sounding their opinions, or abusing the power they have in the pulpit to preach at people with whom you have a problem. Every preacher has a sacred responsibility to preach the message of the LORD without apology, and that message is found from Genesis to Revelation.
The third ingredient that makes up the winning combination is the listener giving heed to the sound of the trumpet. Just like the preacher is responsible for preaching God’s Word, you are responsible to heed what he preaches. It is just as wrong for the listener not to obey what the preacher preaches as it is for the preacher not to preach what he doesn’t like. You must ask yourself after every church service, did you listen intently to what the LORD sounded for your life through the preaching, or did you let your mind wander to what you are going to do after the service? You will never have the winning combination if you don’t listen to the preaching. If you get all three ingredients working together, this winning combination will make you the Christian who influences your world for Christ as you should.