Summary: WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
Isaiah 21:6-10 WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT? Intro: 689 BC and the world is in turmoil. The Babylonian Empire is under attack by the Assyrian Empire. Against this backdrop of war and a certain 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 I. THE WATCHMAN AND HIS MISSION v. 6 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. Wall & Watchmen A. He Was To Watch – The duty of the watchman was for him to watch! B. He Was To Warn – Isa. 58:1, where the prophet Isaiah is told to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Hos. 8:1, where Hosea is told to “Set the trumpet to thy mouth.” II. THE WATCHMAN AND HIS METHODS v. 7-10 A. He Was Vigilant In His Watching – v. 7-8 v 7 tells us that “he saw.” It also says that “he hearkened diligently with much heed” to what he saw. 1 Pet. 5:8, we are told to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” The word “sober” means “to be calm and collected in spirit.” The word “vigilant” means “to be watchful.” B. He Was Vigorous In His Warnings – Ezekiel. 33:1-9. 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. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
III. THE WATCHMAN AND HIS MESSAGE v. 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. (Ill. Isaiah declares a prophecy against the people of Edom in verses 11-12. They are pictured as someone who approaches the wall, yells up to the watchman during the night and cries, “Watchman, what of the night?” This question has been interpreted in many ways. 1. Some say it is the question of a Careless heart. Because he does not plan to change or prepare for what is coming. 2. It may a question born out of Contempt. “I know what you think you see and I hear what you say, but I do not believe a word of it and I will not heed your warning.” 3. It may be a question from a Concerned heart. “Watchman, tell me, is everything alright? When will the morning come? Is there hope?” The watchman has a threefold answer. A. He Speaks Of Dawn – The watchman says “the morning cometh!” John 14:1-3; Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 1 Thes. 4:16-17, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Rev. 22:20. “Surely I come quickly,” Psa. 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. I. WE SEE THE CHURCH SUFFERING FOR CHRIST... A. Suffer Purging.- John 15:2; Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Eph .5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. B. Suffer Persecutions...II Tim. 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. C. Suffer Perseverance...Hebrews 12 1. Endure the Cross of Shame...Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 2. Endure the Contradiction of Sinners...Heb. 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 3. Endure the Chastening of Sons...Heb. 12:6-8 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. II. WE SEE THE CHURCH SNATCHED AWAY BY CHRIST A. The Return... I Thess. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: B. The Resurrection... 4:16 and the dead in Christ shall rise first: C. The Rapture... 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. III. WE SEE THE CHURCH STANDING BEFORE CHRIST... A. A time of Remembering and Reckoning... II Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. B. A time of Rewards and Rejoicing... 1 Cor. 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. C. A time of Remorse and Regrets... 1 Cor. 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.