CHAPTER 17 THE WATCHMEN Watchman- What of the Night?
The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come. (Isaiah 21:11, 12)
God's prophets and ministers were called of God to be watchmen. They watched for the soul's of men and women alike (Hebrews 13:17). They were watchmen of the nations in the times of peace. They watched in the cities to see that all was safe and secure. Their job was to knock on every door personally and ask,"Is it locked? or Is the fire safe? "The watchman directed those that were lost, and checked those that were disorderly (Song of Solomon 3:3; 5:7). There were watchmen in the camp in times of war (Ezekiel 33:7). They took notice of the movements of the enemy and gave notice of them. They made discoveries and then gave warning; and in this they denied themselves. While others minds were on pleasures and relaxation they fastened their attention to the safety of the people. They were ever sensitive to threats and dangers. We are the watchmen in these last days. We watch for our own souls first and then the souls of our families and friends. Ministers of our day watch for the souls of them that are under their authority (Hebrews 13). God has called some of us to be watchmen to the watchmen as the saints are fast asleep. These watchmen do these things at great peril to themselves and at great sacrifice. Watchmen are often misunderstood. The question we must ask of the watchman is one of life and death: What of the night? Are we safe? Are we secure? How long until morning? For watchmen are wake when sinners are fast asleep. All believers in some way are called to be watchmen- not to carry a light, but to be the light. We all have things, for which we must watch and be sober. We all must have a clear mind in these last days- free from the intoxicating influences of worldliness and the inebriating effects of sin. Yes, the Saint of God is a watchman. The same is true for us as was once true for the disciples. Jesus once asked them, 'Could you not watch with me one hour?' They would not and they forsook Christ. Is It Locked?
The thief cometh not but for to steal kill and destroy- have you fastened the windows of your life? Have you locked the door of your heart? The enemy is coming down having great wrath knowing that he has but a short time. War is upon us. War in our nation. War in our streets. Wars in the spirit realm. War for the souls of men. Have you hearkened to the warnings of the watchmen? Have you discarded the warnings of God and listened to the subtle propaganda of the enemy who ceaselessly proclaims, 'peace and safety... peace and safety.' The watchmen have said, 'The night is far spent and the time is at hand. The days are soon coming upon us when no man can work.' Have you hearkened to these words? Has the door been locked to the enemy in your heart? Have you arisen out of deep sleep? Are you watching and warning? Are you sober and free from the influence of sin? Do you feel the sense of urgency that something is not right? Or do you just sleep on and await for the enemy to utterly pillage your soul?
Watchman- What of the Times?
When God sends revival He is awakening a slumbering people to watch. To sober them up from their staggering walk with Christ to walk anew in the newness of life. What time of the night? They that sleep- sleep in the night and they that be drunken are drunken in the night, but we who are of the day are to be sober and watch (I Thessalonians 5:7). Matthew Henry asks, 'After a long sleep in sin and security, is it not time to rise, high time to awake out of sleep? (Romans 13:11). We have a great deal of work to do, a long journey to go; is it not time to be stirring? "Watchman, what o'clock is it? After a long dark night is there any hope of the day dawning?" The watchman never feels secure. The watchman knows the shrewd tactics of the enemy. The watchman is ever vigilant. He continues, 'What of the night? What from the night? (so some); "what vision has the prophet had to-night? We are ready to receive it." Or, rather, "What occurs to night? What weather is it? What news?" We must expect an alarm, and never be secure. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; we must prepare to receive the alarm, and resolve to keep our ground, and then take the first hint of danger, and to our arms presently, to our spiritual weapons.'
Blow Ye The Trumpet in Zion
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand (Joel 2:1)
God has been sounding the trumpet for some time; have you hearkened? Have you drawn near unto God? Have you rid yourself of the secret sin in your life? Amos 3 asks a riveting question, 'When the war trumpet blares, shouldn't the people be alarmed? When disaster comes to a city, isn't it because the LORD planned it?' (NLT) While some have gone on preaching peace and prosperity the remnant watchman are sounding the alarm. The day of the Lord cometh... it is nigh at hand. Amos continues, 'The lion has roared--tremble in fear! The Sovereign LORD has spoken--I dare not refuse to proclaim his message!' (NLT) The bellows of the mouths of God's faithful few ministers are burning and the smelter smelteth in vain. Yet still, many are running to and fro and knowledge is increased- but a famine of the Lord's words is raging in our land. We can almost hear the words of the prophet as he cried out, 'My people have forgotten what it means to do right," says the LORD. "Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence. Therefore," says the Sovereign LORD, "an enemy is coming! He will surround them and shatter their defenses. Then he will plunder all their fortresses.' (Amos 3:10, 11 NLT) The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; we must prepare and receive the alarm, and resolve to keep our ground, and then take the first hint of danger, and to our arms presently, to our spiritual weapons. We must humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn wholly from our wicked ways. How long before the Lord will judge a nation that worships at the altars of worldliness, materialism, and greed? How long will the image of jealousy of the gods of sports, entertainment, and fashion provoke the living God? How long will the secret place remain abandoned and yet the saints pretend to love God above all other things? Will the Lord not answer these things? This is what the LORD says: "A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion's mouth will recover only two legs and a piece of ear. So it will be when the Israelites in Samaria are rescued with only a broken chair and a tattered pillow. Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel," says the Lord, the LORD God Almighty. "On the very day I punish Israel for its sins, I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy--their winter mansions and their summer houses, too--all their palaces filled with ivory. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Amos 3:12-15 NLT) The Lord indeed has spoken. Watchman- what of the night? The night is far spent and the time is at hand. Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead and Christ shall give the light (Ephesians 5:14).