WATCHMAN, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Watchman, what of the night?” Isaiah 21:11
In our church service today, one of the speakers/prophets quoted that verse, saying “Watchman, what do you see?” and she also mentioned that the Barbarians are at the door and we do need to repent. And we honored “Call to Fall” day where we spent five minutes on our knees in prayer to God.
But haven’t we heard all this before? I know I have, and inside (although being quiet on the outside) I am screaming! And this watchman is hearing that the Barbarians are very much still at the door! We don’t realize how close they are, and we are not prepared. Even many of the best of us will be taken by surprise, perhaps even me, the one who is declaring this.
Watchman, what do you SEE? And I see this arrogance, this false buffer we believe we have because we have done this before and nothing new seemed to happen. However, society gets worse and worse. Haven’t we been this way before? Don’t we know what to do?
Watchman, what do you see? And I see trouble coming with a grief that really will vex our souls. Do I want to see this? Trust me, I do not!!! And while everyone feels like they have done a good thing by praying, and I believe some did, I am also seeing an uncircumcised heart in the Body.
Now when the Lord called me out of the world into the Church, I was what was called “a party animal.” I loved a party, I loved to celebrate, and I thought I found all kinds of positive things to celebrate, but some of that celebrating was without the knowledge of God and so it didn’t really count for so much.
But in the pride of my soul, at that time, I thought it did. “I am a good person,” I would basically think. “People like me, I have friends, some even think I am the life of the party because I am so happy.” And they did. I liked people, and now today it seems sometimes like I don’t when I really do love them so much I am in travail for them and they don’t understand.
Ezekiel went through that. He was sitting around like everyone else in the crowd until he had a visitation from God and then he returned in the heat of his anger. After his visitation, he saw injustice! See, he was basically a good guy too, easy to get along with, agreeable, nice, but then he acquired a holy anger after a visitation from the Most High.
See, before God comes along, we are basically content for every man to do what is right in his own eyes. In my younger days, that was my great philosophy. I got the “great revelation” (and I thought it was at the time!) that people could do whatever they wanted as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else. It was really live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow and if you did mess up, “Oops! Okay, we’ll try harder next time.”
There was no conviction, no awareness of condemnation, and condemnation is pretty ugly anyway. God sets us free from that, but how did it get here in the first place? It was a pretty peaceful life for me. If someone did do something wrong, then society would surely take care of it. And it should be reasonable to the crime, of course. For me, gentle souls were nice and the norm, and the rough ones were on the outer edges, taking their risks. If others did it wrong, we would just tune them out and go on with our more righteous ways.
Oh yes, some of us still think that way! But what we don’t understand, or choose to fail to understand, is that God wants a peculiar people. It’s NOT anything goes, and all is well. Oh yes, some days are better than other days and how grateful we are for the good days we get – there really is A LOT to be thankful for. But something else, something more is also going on, and we don’t always want or choose to see it.
We LIKE being the masters of our own ships, setting our own sails. Don’t they teach that to us in the schools that we can be ANYTHING we want to be and do ANYTHING we want to do? And we buy into that freedom song, only to sometimes have the rude awakening later, that it really ain’t so. Some seem to slide by longer than others, but this life is not exactly “anything goes, no problem!”
And success is a beautiful thing, but what is it for? Is it for doing our own thing, or for caring about others? I think we would say, “Oh, I know the answer to that! I knew that already,” but do we live what are told to live? Do we really, as we watch society getting worse and worse? And the answer to that question today is: NO, we do not!
“Oh yikes! Another doom and gloom prophet,” but that is not really so! This is a cry for us being whom GOD wants us to be. And this may be harder for me than it is for you! But none the less, I am the one or one of the ones He chose to cry this out!
Today we have hard hearts and we think we don’t. We say we care, as we toss a few coins to a worthy cause, but our heart is not fully following. We are too busy going our own way. Oh, yes we were given a good upbringing, some of us, in this great Christian nation we say is so wonderful, but again, it’s going downhill. As our pastor preached in his message, it is God who has taken away the understanding of our leaders.
Job 12:24 – He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.
And so if God is doing that, and many believe He is, WHY is He doing that? Why is He blinding them, and thus us? Why are we wandering to and fro and looking for justice in so many places? It is because we are not seeing HIM! We have taken things for granted, but yet we think we are sure.
We go through the motions, we THINK we are good people, we really believe that, but God says we are falling short!!!
“Haven’t we been this way before?” we say in our hearts. “Don’t we know how to handle this thing?” but yet we are surprised and appalled at what happens in other countries that soon could be at our doorsteps, or maybe already is.
While we were blind and going our own way, the enemy crept in through the gate and slipped by the guardsmen. Life is a party and like one person shared, the table is spread, the Marriage Supper has come, and what is being served is skewered Lamb!
But aren’t we the “special ones”, the “chosen ones”? Aren’t “we” God’s favorites? Isn’t that why all this “favor” has come to us? Let’s confess up some more! Ouch!!! Our words have power, they conjure! Oh God, help us!!!
Some of you are really feeling this as I write and are crying out, “What! What! What must I do???”
He answers from Joel chapter 2: 12 “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
What are we fasting and weeping for? The answer is a circumcized or tender heart. We need to remove the foreskin or callousness we have that is making us insensitive. And what if we don’t? God will do it for us. For Pharoah and his kingdom, God took away the first born sons. Only then would he let Israel go. (He thought he owned them, but God said No.)
The fear of the Lord is knowing something can happen and you can be grateful it didn’t happen to you, but when it does happen to someone, you need the appropriate response. Some day some things will happen to you and you will be grateful for the Body of Christ, because they are wonderful people and ministers, but if that hardness creeps into the Church and takes over, God will have to purge His Church. Who has eyes to see???
Will it be the one who knows everything already, or will it be those who call on His Name? Will it be the mockers and the talkers or will it be those who really weep? Believe it or not, I was told that in the older days some of the women who attended the prayer meetings would bring onions in their handkercheif so it would provoke their tears. I don’t think that is what God has in mind!!!
Not only do we share in the wounding, but we also are to share in the blessing, and when we get too big to share, we are too big for God in His eyes. Yes, we need wisdom and skill in handling life and we are all students or disciples. But this hardness of heart is a big issue and it is leading to A LOT of sin in our nation! We might point to the other nations but in whose hands is the Book of Life that we call The Holy Bible? In what nations are the houses of prayer? What if God gives us double that was too much trouble for us?
Yes there are snakes and scorpions out there, but we are to take our power and authority over them in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ! In I Samuel 4:9 you read: “Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become servants of the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Conduct yourselves like men, and fight!”
This was the enemy resisting the Israelites. They respected themselves enough to not want to be taken over, because they didn’t know the Love of God that was meant for them. But if they can stand against a small people, what can we do if the Lord is on our side? If we don’t take what is lawfully and rightfully ours through the work of the Cross, and if we just give that blessing to our enemies to trample underfoot, do we deserve a blessing that we don’t really care about?
Remember Esau who gave up his divine birthright for a pot of stew! Later when he wanted it back, with tears he could not get it. It’s a fearful thing to offend God. We must be stewards over our own souls and influence those around us. For we are our brother’s keeper and one day we will stand before Him accountable.