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January Article

"Watchman What Of The Night?"

Evangelist Mike Heltsley

Isaiah 21:11-12 - The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? 12 The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.
In Isaiah 21:11 we read, "The burden of Dumah. He calleth me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" The Hebrew reads, "The Burden of Silence..." Dumah is a land south of the Dead Sea, minerally rich and is also called Seir. It is the home of Esau's ancestors , rivals of the tribes of Jacob. That struggle between those two tribes have been going on since the birth of those two boys. “Dumah" means "Silence" in the Hebrew. Silence can be a blessing or at times, also a burden, as in our text. A man had called out to the watchman, out of Seir, saying, "Watchman, what of the night?" A man that was more con­cerned than all the rest for the safety and welfare of his people. A man, as the man of Macedonia, who in a vis­ion, called out to Paul, "Come over and help us." This man called to Isaiah to instruct and inform the people. His question is a significant one. He asks, "What of the night?" or as in the Hebrew, "How goes the night?" or "What occurs tonight?" The Watchman's responsibility in Bible times was to watch and warn the people! Isaiah was the watchman for the hou­se of Israel! He announced that the morning of deliveran­ce is breaking for Israel, but a night of defeat and bon­dage would soon fall upon Edom. Therefore, the Edomites must seek God in repentance and faith. Just as Isaiah's responsibility was to watch and warn the people in his day, surely that is our responsibility today, also! We, as God's watchmen, must ask ourselves, "What of the night?," as we see the Country we love on the brink of destruction, as we see the deteriation of our families, as we see our people turn away from God! I want us to consider three things about watchmen in the message, NOTICE: (1) The Watchman's Appointment Isaiah 21:11—“...Watchman...” *In Bible times, the occupation of Watchman was an important one. His duty was to keep awake while others slept; to keep his eyes open; to keep a sharp lookout in every direct­ion. *All Believers have a similar calling! - John 15:16 - Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. God has appointed each of us as His "watchmen" 2nd Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 1st Corinthians 16:13 - Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1st Peter 4:7 - But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. We MUST BE sober, vigilant, and on guard against spiritual foes and dangers. Ephesians 5:15-16 - See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. *A Watchman Must Be: a) Watching - Matthew 25:13 - Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. ILLUS: A man was overtaken by night on a mountain ridge. The path behind was too perilous to be retraced in the darkness, and the way in front was stopped by a projecting rock, wh­ich in his exhausted state, he could not scale. His only alternative was to wait for the morning. But his resting place was a steep slope, end­ing in a sheer precipice. One careless move­ment might prove his destruction. As the darkness deepened, the danger was disguised. With a lessening sense of peril, there came on increasing drowsiness. What efforts were his during those long hours to drive off sl­eep! How he had to stir his mind to a convic­tion of the necessity of unremitting vigilance! For, should he once be overpowered, he might unconsciously slide down his sloping couch, and be hurled into the valley below. Such is our position. If we would not fall down the precipice, let us watch lest during slumber we slip along the treacherous incline. *That's the problem, many of God's watchmen, are asleep at their post! Romans 13:11 - And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. *Jesus asked Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Could you not watch with me one hour?" *We are living in the hour of grace, Christ has told us to be watchful, but many are asleep, oblivious to what is going on around them, ready to slip and fall! b) Warning - Ezekiel 33:1-7 - Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. *The second duty of the Watchman was to warn of impend­ing danger.
*In Ezekiel's day, the Watchman was to take notice of the motions of the Enemy, to make discoveries, and then to give warning. *Is that not our responsibility also? Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Isaiah 58:1 - Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. ILLUS: A father who sees his son tottering toward the brink of a precipice, and as he sees him, cries out sharply, "Stop, Stop!"-does that father not love his son? That tender mother who sees her infant on the point of eating some poisonous berry, and cries out sharply, "Stop, Stop! Put it down!"-does not that mother love that child? It is indifference that lets people alone, and allows them to go on everyone to his own way. It is love, tender love, that warns and raises the cry of alarm! What has hap­pened to our compassion? The Cry of "Fire! Fire!" at midnight may sometimes startle a man out of his sleep, rudely, harshly, un­pleasantly. But who would complain if that cry was the means of saving his life? The words "Except ye Repent, ye shall perish," may seem at first sight stern and severe. But they are words of love, and may be the means of delivering precious souls from hell! *We must warn men with love for they that are lost are headed for destruction! Psalm 126:5 - They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Jude 22-23 - And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (2) The Watchman's Answer Isaiah 21:llb-12a—“Watchman, what of the night? The watch­man said, The morning cometh, and also the night..." *"What of the Night?" or "How goes the night?" *Notice the watchman was neither asleep nor uninformed; he was sober, watchful and ready to give an answer! *We, at all times, must be ready to answer every man that asks of the Hope we have! 1st Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: *The Watchman's Answer Indicated Two Things: a) The Morning Comes--Jesus Is Coming Soon! (Revelation 22:12 - And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.) *The Hymn-writer wrote: "By and by when the morning comes, All the saints of God are gathering home, We will tell the story how we've overcome, We will understand it better by and by." *Our main priority as God's people is to tell others, "Jesus is coming soon!" *For when He comes only those prepared will go with Him! (Matthew 25:6-13 - And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.) *His appearing will occur without warning, as a thief in the night, are you ready? *God is giving you opportunity now before calamity strikes! b) The Night Comes Also--Judgment Is Coming Soon! (1st Thessalonians 3:3 - That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.) * “night"--Hebrew --"adversity" *WE must warn men that if they are unprepared when He comes, they will be left behind and face a night of Calamity! *Men will cry out for fear and say to the mountains, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?" (3) The Watchman's Advice Isaiah 21:12b—“If ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come" * “Enquire”—Hebrew- “seek after with eagerness and strong de­sire" *The watchman's Advice was to seek after the LORD for salvat­ion and Him only! Isaiah 55:6-7 - Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. *That must be our advice today also to the lost and wayward! *Because the day of grace is almost past, and "Now is the day of salvation!" ILLUS: A young man sentenced to death said, two days before his execution, "I am afraid that nothing but the fear of death and hell makes me seek the Savior now, and that I cannot expect to find Him. The words, 'Seek the LORD while He may be found,' trouble my mind very much, as they show me that there is a time when He may not be found.” *That young man's heart was so hardened that he could not seek after God! *Don't harden your heart today! Seek God while you still can! Lost friend, you may have heard the cry of the watchman today, "Prepare to meet thy God!" Will you prepare? God awaits your response to Him today! Christian brother or sister, Are we being the watchmen He has called us to be?" Philippians 2:15-16 - That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Let us be watching and war­ning this lost, dying world around US!
Will you do that?

Until next time, let your light shine for Jesus!
P.O. BOX 21682
(502) 930-5503 www.preachingthetruth.net




Mike Heltsley
P.O. Box 4101
Hopkinsville, KY 42241


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