Scripture reading for July 23rd: Isaiah 21-23
Prophets in the Old Testament were often likened to watchmen. Watchmen were stationed on the city wall to give early warning of approaching danger or enemy attack. They also functioned as an alarm clock to the people of the city. They kept track of the time and announced the arrival of a new day. When someone awoke in the night, they could call out to the watchman on duty and inquire about the time. That’s what we find in today’s reading in the prophet Isaiah!
“Someone calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but also the night. If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.” (Isaiah 21:11-12)
These ancient verses were a prophecy of Isaiah written down for Dumah, a Hebrew word meaning “silence”. This prophecy was meant for Edom and Seir was a city in Edom. As I read these verses, I could not help think about our day and time. Many are asleep and living in darkness. They don’t know what time it is prophetically and are unaware of the danger of the coming time. Those who are aware of the coming day, listen for the watchman! They know the signs of the times. They prepare for the coming day and the rising of the Son!
The question: “What is left of the night?” is applicable today! The disciples of Jesus asked Him that question in a slightly different form. They asked Him when He would come and what would be the signs of His coming and the end of the age. (Matthew 24:3) Jesus Christ taught that no man would know the day or the hour of His coming again. (Matthew 24:38) He also taught that many would be caught unaware and unprepared for that day! (Matthew 24:37-41) His coming would be like a “thief in the night” that the owner of the house was unprepared for! (Matthew 24:42-44) The owner should have kept watch and been ready!
The watchman’s answer is revealing: “The morning is coming, also the night”. Many today are not aware that the “day” that is coming will be “night” for them! They are living in perpetual darkness and are not ready for the arrival of the “Son”. They are living in deception and are in danger of judgment of being cast into outer darkness for eternity!
Are you ready today? Are you being a wise ‘watchman’ who is busy warning those of the coming “day” of the Lord? Are you living in such a way that others can see your preparation or are you setting a bad example by living in the darkness? Today is a day of mercy if you will repent and turn to the Lord, the great “Watchman” of our souls!
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14-15)