WATCHMEN ON THE WALL
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, “we will not walk in it.” And I set watchmen over you; listen to the sound of the trumpets.” Jeremiah 6:16-17a
America needs a change in direction; she needs to return to the ancient paths. The watchmen over her have been calling out warnings, and the trumpets have sounded, but America refuses to listen. She pridefully assumes that she will go on forever and does not need God anymore or His hedge of protection. She seeks worldly solutions instead, depending upon her military, her prosperity, other nations, and her false gods to protect her rather than God. We may not worship virtual idols, but we as a nation have not only placed things before God, we have counted on everything else but God.
In ancient Israel, watchmen were to give the warning of invasion. The furthermost border towns had walls around them with a watchtower raised high above the walls. If the watchman saw an invading army, he was to blow his trumpet to alert the people. They then would make a huge bonfire that nearby cities could see, whose watchman would repeat the process until the warning reached Jerusalem.
The Hebrew word for watchman is tsaphah which means “to lean forward; to peer into the distance, to observe.” The ancient prophets, like Ezekiel, commissioned by God and cast in the role of foretelling the future, called for repentance, and encouraged people to follow the ancient paths—found in God’s Word. They were often rejected, and the people of Israel suffered from those civilizations who rose and fell, despite their huge armies and military prowess. Will America live forever?
The United States is at a crossroad. Our founding documents, all the way back to the earliest settlers, centered upon God and His protection—our ancient paths. Those men and women recognized the sovereignty of God, and, while not perfect, could still find their way back to their original covenants with God, and reap the benefit of His protection. He has remained true to His word and America has prospered and remained untouched until 9/11. In a sense, 9/11 was the cry of the watchman calling us back to God and His ancient paths. The sight of our elected officials standing on the Capitol steps singing “God Bless America” after the attack was heartening, but it did not take long for everything to return to paths chosen by men rather than God. America’s leaders’ words were right, but they did not penetrate the heart–except for a remnant.
The ancient prophets God sent to Israel functioned as watchmen in that they called the alarm, urged people to repent and turn back to God, and encouraged them with their foretelling of the future. Today we have God’s written Word and as Christians, the Holy Spirit living in us.
Do you hear the sound of invasion? If so, are you calling out the warning? Will America refuse to listen? God is waiting for Americans to repent from their wicked ways and return to Him. He is looking for those who do justice and seek the truth. His Word is truth. He is compassionate, but He is also just. We must return to the ancient paths to survive.
We live in times of great upheaval. Enemies in the form of ideologies, false assurances, idols, and self-centeredness whisper “Peace, Peace,” but do not shout the warning of judgment. Repentance, agreeing with God’s rules, brings His peace. We can find peace in no one else.