The year is 689 BC and the world is in turmoil. The Babylonian Empire is under attack by the Assyrian Empire. All of the nations in that area hoped against hope that Babylon would be able to defeat the Assyrian aggressors to their north. However, it was not to be! Babylon fell to the Assyrians and everyone knew they would not be stopped until the entire region was under their domination.
Against this backdrop of war and the certainty of attack upon the nation of Israel, God commands the prophet Isaiah to assume the role of a watchman. Isaiah is to look to the prophetic future and tell the people what he sees approaching. This is just what Isaiah does in out text.
This message might have been given nearly 2,700 years ago, but it is as timely as today’s headlines. War rages in our world today. People are losing their lives by the thousands to terrorist attacks, freak natural disasters and the horrors of war. On another level, a tsunami of sin in our world is rising. Old convictions and standards are being swept away right before our very eyes. Behavior that was once considered immoral is now openly flaunted and widely accepted. The winds of change are blowing all around us and fearful things are just over the horizon.
Today, just as there was in Isaiah’s day, there is a need for the people of God to assume the role of watchman. There is a need for us to take our stand, look at that which is approaching and open our mouths and sound the warning.
I would like to take this passage and preach on the theme: Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees. As I read this passage, I understand that we are living in dangerous days. We are living in days when the enemies of the Lord and the Enemy of our soul—Satan himself—would love nothing more than to overrun or lives and our churches. The enemy’s desire is to see our ministries, our families and our churches dashed upon the rocks of failure. If we are to avoid that end, then we need to consider the work of the ancient watchman and understand the truth that his ministry is needed as much today as it ever was. Let me share three facts that this passage gives us concerning the watchman.
Where are the watchmen who are gazing out over the horizon? Where are the watchmen who see the danger of approaching judgment? Where are the watchmen who see the enemy creeping ever closer to the walls of our churches, our families, our homes and our communities? Where are the watchmen who will set the trumpet to their lips and sound the warning?
Will you be a faithful watchman?