Gloom and doom…
Sometimes the books of prophecy in the Old Testament can be difficult reading. It feels like they contain an endless litany of unheeded warnings, followed by devastating judgments.
And yet, there is always an unmistakable undercurrent of forgiveness, comfort, and hope.
God’s message is clear: There are consequences for rebelling against Me. Please don't do it. But if you return to Me, I will forgive you and restore you.
Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" comes from the book of Isaiah.
I'd like to start with a little background information on the book of Isaiah.
Prophets stood with the priests as God's special representatives. The prophet's role was to speak for God, confronting the people with His commands and promises – pointing out their rebellion.
Needless to say, true prophets were not very popular!!
But they continued to faithfully proclaim the truth.
The book of Isaiah is the first of the writings of the prophets in the Bible – and Isaiah is generally considered to be the greatest prophet. His purpose was to call the nation of Judah back to God. But his prophecies also tell of God's salvation through His coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Our "pick 'em" verses are found in Isaiah 21:5-7, 11-12:
“But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle. You are being attacked! Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, 'Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees…Let the watchman be fully alert.'
Someone…keeps calling to me, 'Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?' The watchman replies, 'Morning is coming…'"
These verses can be applied directly to the very real threat of Judah's enemies during Isaiah's lifetime. God was warning the people to return to Him, to remain alert and on guard, to prepare for battle. But, sadly, His warnings went unheeded.
But, these verses also apply to us today.
We also have enemies outside our "city walls." They are ready to "attack" and we must "prepare for battle." We are called to be "fully alert."
We, too, must be watchmen…
Because we have a blessed *MORNING* that is coming!
Our glorious Savior is going to return!
"So you, too must keep watch! For you don't know what day your Lord is coming…You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected." (Matthew 24:42-44)
"You must be ready all the time…" (Luke 12:40)
"For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly; like a thief in the night…So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and clearheaded." (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 6)
Not all people will join us in our watch.
We will hear people saying, "How much longer until morning?"
Some may say it with longing, others will mock.
"Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last day scoffers will come…They will say, 'What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?'" (2 Peter 3:3, 4)
Do not listen.
God is calling us to be watchmen.
To grab our shields and prepare for battle.
To shout the truth.
To be fully alert.
And most of all, to keep looking to the horizon, and believing with all our hearts -
"MORNING IS COMING…"
Are you remembering to stay alert? How can you be a better *watchman* - how do you hold on to hope?
"When in doubt, search God out!"