The Call of the Watchmen Part 2 - What is My Role?

The job of a watchman is to watch over the walls and keep the safety of the people. The watchmen must have a love for the people. The watchmen must proclaim what he sees, even if it’s not what people want to hear. They cannot be silent or the blood of the people will be on the hands of the watchmen. Jeremiah saw a boiling pot - Babylon on the border that would bring judgment on the people of Israel. And the pot is boiling again - there are threats against our nation and unrest within. We have disregarded the commandments of God and the boiling pot is God preparing something. We don't know what it will be, but it will be something to wake people up.

The day of casual Christianity is over.

Scriptures used: Isaiah 62:6-9, Nehemiah‬ ‭1:1-10, Exodus‬ ‭32:9-14‬, Luke‬ ‭18:1-8‬, ‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭1:2-7‬, 2:1-3, 3:2

Full sermon notes below:


This is a continuation of the message from last week.

“Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen on your walls; they will never be silent, day or night. There is no rest for you, who remind the Lord. Do not give Him rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem the praise of the earth. The Lord has sworn with His right hand and His strong arm: I will no longer give your grain to your enemies for food, and foreigners will not drink your new wine you have labored for. For those who gather grain will eat it and praise the Lord, and those who harvest the grapes will drink the wine in My holy courts.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭62:6-9‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
 

The job of a watchman is to watch over the walls and keep the safety of the people. The watchmen must have a love for the people. The watchmen must proclaim what he sees, even if it’s not what people want to hear. They cannot be silent or the blood of the people will be on the hands of the watchmen. Jeremiah saw a boiling pot - Babylon on the border that would bring judgment on the people of Israel. And the pot is boiling again - there are threats against our nation and unrest within. We have disregarded the commandments of God and the boiling pot is God preparing something. We don't know what it will be, but it will be something to wake people up.

The day of casual Christianity is over.

Remind God

There is no rest for us, who remind the Lord. We have the constant job of declaring to people what they are to do. In football, if one kid misses their role in a play, everyone suffers and the play will fail. We can’t take off one day, one crucial moment of warning the world what is to come. We will all stand, one day, before the judgment seat of Christ.

What are we reminding God of? The things that He has promised.

God does not forget His promises. He has no sticky notes on His desk. But when we remind God, we are refreshing the promises of God in our own mind. God is not going to try to back out of His promises - reminding God is really just reminding us to have faith in what He has said. God is not annoyed or angered by our reminders of His promises. God has not forgotten what He is planning to do, nor has he changed His mind about those things.

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: During the month of Chislev in the twentieth year, when I was in the fortress city of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah, and I questioned them about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. They said to me, “The remnant in the province, who survived the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem’s wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down.””
‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭1:1-3‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

If you remember Jeremiah’s “boiling pot,” of Babylon coming in judgment. God has promised to take care of the city if they heeded God’s warnings but they had not. Babylon came and tore down the walls and burned the gates.

Then, about seventy years later, after having scattered the Jews all over the place, the Jews started gathering back in Jerusalem. Nehemiah was doing pretty well - he was the head cupbearer for the king. He was very safe living in a walled city with a comfortable wage and a comfortable life.

Nehemiah talked with some men from Jerusalem and he asked how they were doing. He expected to hear that things were going great, but they didn’t. They reported that the walls were still down and people were being harassed and oppressed. Why had this happened? People had not heeded the word of the watchmen. When people ignore the word, they are destroyed and that’s how they found themselves in that place.

“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. I said, Yahweh, the God of heaven, the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps His gracious covenant with those who love Him and keep His commands, let Your eyes be open and Your ears be attentive to hear Your servant’s prayer that I now pray to You day and night for Your servants, the Israelites. I confess the sins we have committed against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted corruptly toward You and have not kept the commands, statutes, and ordinances You gave Your servant Moses. Please remember what You commanded Your servant Moses: “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples. But if you return to Me and carefully observe My commands, even though your exiles were banished to the ends of the earth, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place where I chose to have My name dwell.” They are Your servants and Your people. You redeemed them by Your great power and strong hand.”
‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭1:4-10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Notice in verse eight: “Please remember what You commanded…” Nehemiah was reminding God of His promise. By His word, Jerusalem had been destroyed, but now by His word the people could be brought back together again.

Nehemiah left his safe city to minister to people who were not in safety. We, as God’s people, get comfortable within the church walls. We feel safe here, we feel God’s presence here. But we have to get outside the walls in order to minister to the people who are not safe. Everyone who does not know Jesus as their personal savior is unsafe - they are in danger of hell, in danger of perishing.

Do you have a love for the people you are called to watch for? Moses did. He loved the Israelites deeply and was willing to stand in the gap and remind God of his promises.

“The Lord also said to Moses: “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone, so that My anger can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” But Moses interceded with the Lord his God: “ Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out with an evil intent to kill them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from Your great anger and relent concerning this disaster planned for Your people. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel — You swore to them by Your very self and declared, ‘I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit it forever.’ ” So the Lord relented concerning the disaster He said He would bring on His people.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭32:9-14‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
 

Moses took God all the way back to Abraham - “God, you promised Abraham that you would make him a great nation.” And God went back to His covenant, because He is a covenant-keeping God. There were still consequences, but God did not wipe them out because His grace and mercy are stronger than His justice and judgment.

What if someone is headed down the wrong road to eternity fast? What if we stand there to remind God of His promise to that person? God is not willing that any should perish but that all should be saved.

In Genesis 28, God had spoken to Jacob that He would give Jacob and his offspring the land he was sleeping upon - that land and all the land around it. He promised to watch over him anywhere he went, not leaving until He had fulfilled His promise. When Jacob met up with an angel, he didn’t turn him loose until he got some of that promise.

In Luke 18, Jesus said he would instruct the people on how to pray without giving up:

“He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ “For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth? ””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:1-8‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

If this ungodly judge will change his mind and give justice when diligently sought, how much more will our just God hear our pleas?

Faith is waning. Look at the power and authority of the early church. Read the book of Acts and see the powerful results they experienced. Faith is wavering, faith is dissipating. God is calling His watchmen back to the walls to look with open eyes and be alert. Don’t put your head in the sand and act like everything is fine. We see danger on the horizon and we watch from a distance, we come to church a little more, we keep our eyes on God a little and then the danger winds down and we go right back to our old way of life.

But Jesus said he would establish His church on a foundation and hell could not come against it. God has not forgotten that. We need to come to God and admit that we are spiritually weak, reminding God of the firm foundation He promised us. Everybody in the earth once admired Israel because their blessings were so obvious. When they turned aside and got cold, all of that was lost. But that was God’s plan initially… we can remind Him of that plan and bring the church of Jesus Christ would be admired in the world again. Not for our praise, but for the goal of bringing more people to Jesus. God wants to restore his church. There are people out there who want deliverance and we are called to be the source of that.

“How long, Lord, must I call for help and You do not listen or cry out to You about violence and You do not save? Why do You force me to look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing? Oppression and violence are right in front of me. Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates. This is why the law is ineffective and justice never emerges. For the wicked restrict the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted.

Habakkuk saw the injustice in the earth and called God out on it. See God’s response:

"Look at the nations and observe — be utterly astounded! For something is taking place in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it. Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter, impetuous nation that marches across the earth’s open spaces to seize territories not its own. They are fierce and terrifying; their views of justice and sovereignty stem from themselves.”
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭1:2-7‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
 

Notice, God didn’t really answer his question… He just let him know that judgment was coming. Here’s what Habakkuk finally realizes he must do:

“I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the lookout tower. I will watch to see what He will say to me and what I should reply about my complaint.”
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

And God answered:

“The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.”
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Ultimately, Habakkuk came to this conclusion:

“Lord, I have heard the report about You; Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive Your work in these years; make it known in these years. In Your wrath remember mercy!”
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
 

Times in Jerusalem were pretty good so the people didn’t listen much to Habakkuk’s warnings… but about 20 years later, the judgment came. And Habakkuk was prepared in that time to be there to remind God of His mercy in the time of tribulation.

Back in Genesis, Cain answered God's question about his brother - “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes. God held Cain responsible. Are you your neighbor’s keeper? Yes. We are all watchmen.

Will your hand be clean on the day of judgment? Are you warning people placed in your care?