HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Second, notice . . .
2. THE WATCHMAN’S TASK (verse. 3).
I looked up some of the passages in the Bible in which the duties of a watchman were described. In 2 Samuel 18:24-27, for example, a watchman was sent up at the time of King David to take his stand on the roof over the gate of the city. From that vantage point, he was able to see a man running toward the city and to cry out and tell David who it was that was coming. He was able to call out to the gatekeeper and announce the approach of someone who was bringing news at a time of conflict. Similarly, in 2 Kings 9:17, another watchman in the time of King Joram of Israel positioned himself high in the tower of Jezreel. He was able to warn his people of the approach of a possibly hostile enemy. Clearly then, one of the roles of a watchman is to ‘watch‘! He is to have his eyes opened to what is going on that may be a threat or a concern to the welfare of his people.
And then, having watched and having apprehended that danger approaches, he is to warn and alert his people in the clearest and loudest way possible. Amos 3:6 says, “If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid?” God used this analogy often to call His people to attend. Jeremiah 4:5-6 says,
Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:
“Blow the trumpet in the land; Cry, ‘Gather together,’
And say, ‘Assemble yourselves,
And let us go into the fortified cities.’
Set up the standard toward Zion.
Take refuge! Do not delay!
For I will bring disaster from the north,
And great destruction” (Jeremiah 4:5-6; see also 6:1).
Similarly, Hosea 8:1 says, “Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My law.”
It’s the watchman’s two-fold duty, then, to first faithfully watch and see the danger that approaches to his people; and second, to blow the warning to his people loudly and clearly. And so, in our passage, the watchman “sees the sword coming upon the land”, and “blows the trumpet and warns the people” (verse 3).
And again, I see here another spiritual principle that relates to you and me. As God’s appointed watchmen–in that place in which He puts us–we are not to sit silently at our post and be idle. We are to see ourselves as having a task to perform, and we are to perform it faithfully.
First, we are to be a people who are accurately informed by God’s word. We are to believe what God says and apply its truth to life around us. Specifically, we are to be aware of the danger that is coming upon the people in the midst of whom God has placed us. We are to remember what the Bible says–that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23); and that “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). We’re to remember that, in God’s program of redemption, a clear and dreadful line is drawn: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
We are to remember that, in mercy, God has placed us as a watchman in the midst of people in whose death He takes no pleasure–but whom He calls to repent while there is still time. We’re to remember that He has entrusted us with the message by which they may be saved—the gospel of Christ. We’re to remember that there is no salvation in anyone else, “for there is no other name under heaven, given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)–that it is in Him and Him alone that “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace . . . ” (Ephesians 1:7).
And knowing these truths from the Scriptures–and being convinced of what they say–we need to open our mouths and cry out the alarm—telling the people around us about Jesus, and urging them to flee from the wrath to come by fleeing to Him. It may not be that we are to stand on a street corner or shout from a soap-box through a microphone. It may not be that we are to cry out all the time or in every situation. But the call to be His watchmen is to be the constant basis of how we look at people and our relationship with them. And when He opens the door and gives us the opportunity, we are to say, “as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:20-12).
My brothers and sisters, God has appointed that His saving gospel is proclaimed through no one else but through those of us who have been saved by it! Are you seeing the needs of the people around you? Are you sounding the call? Are you pointing the people that God has placed in your sphere to Christ?
Are you faithfully fulfilling the task of a watchman?