Splendor & Glory

Look faithfully forward to God‘s glorious mercy. (Isa 35:1,2). #GodsGloryFillsTheEarth https://www.bible.com/97/isa.35.1-2.msg

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I love the New Living Translation footnote on these verses. “God is just as thorough in his mercy as he is severe in his judgment. God‘s moral perfection leads to judgment and at the same time revealed in his love for all he has created.“ Like spring follows winter so his mercy follows judgment. A land laid waste by God will be turned to a land of refreshing.

All creation groans under sin (Rom 8:22). But God will return his creation to its once glorious beauty. The desert will rejoice, flowers will bloom and lavish meadows will sing with joyful praise (Luke 19:40). God will display his splendor and glory in all creation (Col 4:16). Father, this old sentry looks forward to seeing your splendor and glory.

The Book

You may be instructed and informed by God’s Book (Isa 34:16,17). #ReadTheBook GodsBookOfTruth https://www.bible.com/97/isa.34.16-17.msg

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The “Book of the Lord“ is God’s book of promises and prophecies written down. Why? Because it is no hidden writing. It is open for all to see. What is written, is open for all to search and to find truth. What God has written shall be revealed as truth to all who have eyes to see (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:19-21).

The prophecies given of God reveal and foretell the complete destruction of God’s enemies [Edom]. No one need guess, no one need wonder. For the plan of God is written for the ages. All may see it and all may be informed by it. Father, your word, your promises and your prophecies inform me of truth. I have seen truth come to life with my own eyes. Your Book is my book. I receive it and I pray it so for others who come after me.

Nowhere To Run; Nowhere to Hide

Trust in the Lord; stay centered on him (Isa 34:5, 8–12). #StayOpenToGod #Repent https://www.bible.com/116/isa.34.5,8-12.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I may take stock here, that the land of Edom WILL fall, be decimated by the Lord of Heaven‘s Armies. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau (Jacob’s twin brother – a son of Abraham). The Edomites were bitter enemies of Israel (Jacob).

Edom is a symbol of all who oppose God; stand against God. Their judgment will be severe and without end (v10). If you stand against God there will be no place to run, no place to hide. In the day of your judgment you will know only disaster and decimation. Lord, may I remain centered on you, live always for you.

Hand Of Discipline

When God disciplines, humble yourself and seek him (Isa 27:8-13). #WhenGodDisciplines #TurnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.27.8-9,12-13.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God is not a compliant enabling father. He knows just when and how to discipline. He knows the limits of our ability to withstand testing and trials (1Co 10:13). Discipline is always an option (Heb 12:10,11). It is clear that God is always prepared to discipline his people to purge them from sin (though not every trial is for sin-Jas 1:12; 2Co 12:17; Rom 5:3–6).

In the end, like a loving father, God will come to his own and comfort them. You can count on that. The end result of God‘s discipline is to return to him, to love and worship him. Lord I have known your loving discipline and your comforting embrace. I look to you for the correction and reproof that I need.

Unforgivable?

Never scorn God’s call to repent (Isa 22:12-14). #TurnToGodNow #Repent #UnforgivableSin https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.12-14.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES

Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin? Yes, there is. This is it, pure and simple. When God calls a people to weep and mourn, to be ashamed and sorry for, remorseful of, sin (to repent) and instead that people just “PARTY ON!” ignoring, even scorning, God’s plea; that is the sin for which there is no forgiveness. How can there be?

The ultimate and unforgivable sin is the sin of rejecting God‘s love and mercy. Oh that I may never run aground of sin and unrepentance.

She Failed To Ask

Do you mourn, will you weep for those who refuse to seek God (Isa 22:5-11)? #WillAmericaReturnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.5,8-11.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Oh the beautiful valley in which the city of Jerusalem sits; it is now filled with enemy chariots of war (vv6,7). Why? Because the people of God rejected him. Judah trusted in her own self-made plans. She built her war chests against the Assyrian enemy. She ran to her armories. She sought to shore up her breached walls. She stored up her reservoirs for war. She did everything but ask God for his help.

Today, I hear much rhetoric from politicians, educators, corporate, media and activist leaders, yea, even the citizenry. There is much talk of war against their perceived enemies. Like Jerusalem against her Assyrian enemy, America runs for her political arsenals, she seeks to shore up her walls of political advantage. She works furiously to fill her political reservoirs. But defeat on all sides will be as swift and sure as was Jerusalem‘s. Why? History teaches us. Because, like Jerusalem, in all of America’s self made plans, her leaders have abandoned the people (v3). She arrogantly pursues her own interests. She never stops to ask for God’s help. He is the one who sets her back on her heels; and though rejected by her, loves her and would save her. If she would only ask.

All of this presses this old sentry to his knees in prayer and mourning for my beloved country. Oh that she might seek for God’s help.

Stir Our Hearts

Oh, that Thy people would listen and turn to God (Isa 22:1-4). #TurnToGod #Repent https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.1-4.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jerusalem (people of God), is located between two mountain ranges. These mountains symbolize the presence and protection of God. It is in this valley that God speaks to the prophet and reveals his vision of things to come.

The vision given Isaiah is not a pleasant one. Jerusalem has rejected the God who has enabled her strength. While they revel, their foundation crumbles. Jesus himself will later lament the rejection of Jerusalem for her Redeemer (Mat 25:36, 37).

Isaiah is left to mourn over the vision of the fall of his people. It is heartbreaking to see a people reject the one who has so blessed there existence. It causes me to weep for America, as she thumbs her nose at God, rejects his love. Oh Lord, stir the heart of this nation (my heart), that she (I myself) would listen and turn again to you.

This Is Tough Love

God‘s judgment of us is pure, right and just; full of mercy & grace (Isa 26:23-29). #Judgment #GodsMercyAndGrace https://www.bible.com/116/isa.28.23-24,29.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Even in punishment and judgment the God of Heaven’s Armies will not pulverize the weakest among us. No, Isaiah introduces the metaphor of a husbandman who ploughs his field, loosens the soil and meticulously plants various seed. Then he thoughtfully and wisely goes about the harvest, carefully threshing according to the heftiness of the fruit; heavy threshing for some, light threshing for others.

This is a picture of the gracious wisdom of God in his judgments. Ploughing is followed by benevolent planting. Then after the threshing, the harvest, there is rest. His punishments do not last interminably. He punishes that he might bless by grace. Lord, there may be weeping as the consequence of my sin, but there will be joy in the comfort of your mercy and grace.

Forewarned, Forearmed

Be alarmed and turn your wayward heart back to God (Isa 28:18-22). #TurnToGod #RepentTowardGod #ForeWarnedIsForeArmed

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

It ought to cause the people of God to shudder, to hear and to know that God is willing to trample his own when they continue headlong into sin and the rejection of his word. Instead they think they have outsmarted the coming judgment. But God will strike out, cancel, the deal his people have made with pagan forces to avoid judgment. The bed his people have made to lay in securely is wholly inadequate. The bed blankets are too narrow to cover them.

Just as God defeated the Philistines (Jos 10) and the Amorites (2Sa 5), so he will deliver a defeating, crushing blow to his own people. God’s people ought to be jolted into a repentance and surrender to Jehovah God. But they are not and time has run out. Oh Lord, awaken your people (awaken me) to the disaster ahead if we continue to trust in our own schemes and ingenuity. Bring this old sentry’s heart into alignment with your will and purpose.

Father, would you bring the heart of America into alignment with your will. Would you send revival into the church of America. May your people be alarmed and jolted at the high stakes at risk when there is no humble repentance toward God. I pray your Spirit to awaken the sleepy heart of America from her long slumber. May we we see a sweeping renewal of hearts toward God.

“BORrrING” – NOT!

Don’t ignore the simple truths of God (Isa 28:9–11). #BeOpenToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.28.9-11.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

At times the people of God do not want to hear from the “intolerable moralist“ among them. They have become overconfident in their religiousity. They mock the man or woman of God and so, the message of God is also made a mockery. Such was the reaction of Israel and Judah towards the prophet Isaiah

How does that feel? I once told a brother that his lack of spiritual concern about some circumstances would lead to a bad outcome. I was told that my comments were simply an overreaction. They were not welcomed. Sadly, it turned out I was right. It took several years for that brother to recover.

To the religious know-it-all, God’s correction is all just baby talk to them – they do not wish to hear such repetitious and condescending gibberish. So God will oblige them. He will speak to them in another language. The language of an oppressor; the language of judgment. Perhaps then they will listen. Lord, may I always have an open and willing heart toward you.

A Fist Of Fate

When your wayward heart wanders, lead it quickly back to God (Isa 28:1-6). #RepentTowardGod #CureForTheWanderingHeart https://www.bible.com/116/isa.28.1-6.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah laments the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. The pride of her capital Samaria has shaken off the reins of a loving but holy God. Now she faces only sorrow and heartache. Her end will come at the hands of a mighty army. It will come suddenly as a “mighty hail storm and torrential rain.“ It will “burst upon [them] like a surging flood and smash it to the ground.“ It will be “trampled under the enemies’ feet.”

Let the southern kingdom of Judah be warned. Because of Israel’s pride, her once great beauty will fade into oblivion. She has arrogantly shaken her fist in the face of God. She unwittingly brings God’s wrath upon her. Lord, how sin does pervert the human heart. How the sin of pride dismantles good sense. Lord, may my oft wayward heart find its way quickly back to you.

When a nation flaunts its sin, judgement is not far behind. May the wayward heart of America, my beloved country, humble itself, repent and turn quickly back to God.

“You Talkin’ Ta Me?”

Understand God’s remedial judgment as his loving call to repent (2Ki 17:26–28). #SpeakLordImListening https://www.bible.com/116/2ki.17.26-28.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When pagan, godless Assyrian settlers took over the land of God (Israel) they dishonored him by worshipping other gods. God sent a judgment of wild animals on them. It was recognized as such. When the Assyrian king heard about it, he sent one of the captive priests of God back to Israel to teach the new settlers how to worship the God of the land, Israel.

This would not qualify as full on repentance to God. But it does qualify as a step toward God. It shows that the temporal, remedial judgments of God can get the attention of even a pagan King. But, unlike the nation of Israel, he sought to find peace with God. Reconciliation with God is at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus (Rom 5:1,2). Father, give me a heart to know that any temporal, remedial judgment in my life is your loving call, you talking to me, to repent.

Listening?

Do not insist on doing things your own way; turn early and often to God (Acts 27:13–21). #ListenForGod https://www.bible.com/116/act.27.13-15,17-21.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The consequence of ignoring the dangers of aberrant weather has now caught up with the crew of Paul’s ship headed to Rome. A dangerous storm of hurricane force engulfs the ship. The sun, moon and stars are no longer visible for navigation. They are driven some 300 miles off course. They will surely shipwreck. The crew works feverishly. They bind the hull with ropes for strength. They cast off all the cargo and ship’s gear to lighten the ship. All, to no avail. There is terror on board. All hope had gone out them.

When we find ourselves on the horns of a dangerous dilemma we will exhaust ourselves trying to fight our way through. Having ignored God from the start, we may continue to do all but listen to God…until finally, all hope is gone. Then, just maybe, we will stop, look up and seek God’s help. Oh Lord, may I be delivered from insisting on my own way and trust you sooner than later.

“BELIEVE” – More Than A Slogan

You may truly believe God‘s word (Isa 22:25). #Believe https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.25.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

One final lesson learned from Isaiah’s Shebna/Eliakim prophecy. The office of Prophet often used real life situations to mimic future events (note Hosea and Gomer, Jeremiah and the Potter). God will always reveal to us what he expects and what will happen if we obey or not. The point? God honors his word. He keeps his promises.

God has been clear about man’s sin and the Messiah. He would come [has come] to take away all the sin of the world. Those who accept God‘s forgiveness will receive eternal life. Those who do not, choose for themselves eternal death and hell. The prophets have all spoken. Jesus, the Messiah, son of God, has come. He paid the price for sin on the cross. Yes, “the Lord, has spoken.”

Today if you hear God’s voice do not ignore him (Hebrews 3:15). Lord, I believe what you say is truth.

Just Do What Is Right

You whose heart and life is right with God will have nothing to fear (Isa 33:13–16). #DoTheRightThing

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“OMG!“ Fearful of judgement, the people bellow, “Who can survive the Holy?“ Isaiah gives the short answer. “Easy. Those who walk with the Holy and speak what is right and true. Those who do not extort by bribery or plot to do evil and violence. Those whose hands, ears and eyes are closed moral pollution. Those who do right in his sight.” These are those who have no need to fear the Holy One.

The Apostle Paul makes the same point. “Rulers hold no terror for those who do right.” (Rom 13:3). This is the man or woman who need not be alarmed, though the judgments of the Holy be all around them. Lord, you are ever before me. My refuge is in you.

The faithful prayer sentry declares with the Psalmist, “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust’ “ (Psm 91:1-2)

Fall Of The Mighty

Our greatest need is to stand with God and not against him (Isa 33:10-13). #TurnToGod #Repent #TheMightyHaveFallen https://www.bible.com/116/isa.33.10-13.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

An enemy brings destruction, God’s discipline for his wayward, prodigal people. What sin has beset you, O man or woman of God? But now, having been broken over your own (my own) sin and humbled in repentance before God, he turns on the rod of his discipline.

By God’s mighty power he smashes the rod of his discipline. He breaks it asunder. He consumes it in flames and it is scattered irreverently, as ashes into the wind. To all the nations of the mighty, are you listening? Are you paying attention to the demise of the enemies of God? None will escape the destruction of God for sins committed. O Lord, you have shown me that there is no benefit in standing against you. Though frail, broken, weak and sinful, the sentry stands with you Lord.

Know God, No Fear

When fear strikes run to God not others for help (Isa 30:1–5). #KnowGodNoFear #FaceTheMusic https://www.bible.com/116/isa.30.1-5.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The threat of the Assyrian empire to Judah and Israel was real. Fear was driving God’s people to look to other world powers for their salvation. In their sin they were acting like rebellious children. They were frantically seeking a way out of the discipline that was coming, as promised by God.

Instead of running to God they were running away, into the arms of a crumbling nation. Their ill-advised alliance with Egypt would be powerless to save them. They would be shamed and disgraced. There will be suffering when God’s children make plans not directed by his Spirit. Lord, may this sentry always say, “When I am afraid I will trust in God alone“ (Psm 56:3).

God’s Greatest Delight

Surrender and God will fight your battles (Isa 29:5–8). #GodWins #GodWillFightForYou https://www.bible.com/116/isa.29.5-6,8.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When once the wayward, rebellious, child of God surrenders, his/her whimpers of repentance are heard from on high (v4). Then, like the father greeting the prodigal home from the far country of sin, God is first on the scene to help. This is the message of the prophets.

The enemies, the attackers, God had used to discipline his child will be crushed. Their course of pain and suffering will come to a sudden end. They will be driven away by heaven’s armies. They will “vanish like a vision in the night.“ It is God‘s greatest delight to vanquish the enemy of the child of God. Thank you Lord, for hearing in the night this sentry’s prayer of surrender so many years ago.

FOR AMERICA: Lord, I pray that my beloved nation may surrender her heart fully to you. May she know the fires of revival & spiritual awakening from sea to shining sea. May the power of heaven’s armies be used to deliver her from the enemies that would seek to destroy her.

A Time To Turn

May our hearts remain open and repentant toward God (Isa 27:1-6). #SwordOfTheLord #TodayIsTheDayOfSalvation #TurnToGod https://www.bible.com/97/isa.27.1-6.msg

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The day will come when the terrible swift sword of the Lord will fell the horrible evil monster of sin. Every abuse and rebellion known to man will be struck down. The wicked will know the swift and certain justice of God.

God will restore his people, those who suffered for their own rebellion against God (5:5-7). His people will produce fruit again and f Bt. V l nothing will overcome them. Salvation will come to those who turn to God for help and make peace with him.

“Now [today] is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation“ (2Co 6:2). “Today, if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts“ (Heb 3:15). May the Lord grip the heart if America in repentance toward him. Lord, may the heart of this old sentry remain tender and repentant toward you.

Before The Break Of Dawn

Earnestly seek after God in the night watches (Isa 26:9-12). #AlertToGod #GodInTheNightWatches https://www.bible.com/116/isa.26.9-12.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The lives of men will not be changed by providing a good environment. Although, that may help enormously. But even the most gracious of divine kindnesses, which God may display, are ignored by many. They take no notice of God’s daily mercies. They are taken for granted.

Men seem far more likely to respond better to judgment then to blessing. Judgment brings me face-to-face with my own inadequacies; my need to surrender to God. To this aging sentry this becomes far more evident. So, for me Lord, it is in the morning watches, before the dawn breaks, that I will earnestly seek you. In you I will find peace and accomplishment.

Election Prediction

Let your faith not be shaken by the affairs of men (Isa 25:6,8-11). #ComeLordJesus #JesusIsLord https://www.bible.com/116/isa.25.6,8-11.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The affairs of men will not change God‘s plan.

It is clear that Isaiah‘s view here is apocalyptic and messianic. “In that day,“ is the Day of the Lord. “In that day,” the Lord will rule in richness and abundance. Death will be banished, a thing of the past. Elections? No bearing.

The cause of all tears will be eliminated – hurt, pain, suffering, sickness, persecutions – GONE! God has spoken! The people will shout, “YES! This is the One [Jesus Christ] in whom we have trusted. Finally, every enemy of God will be forever gone. Vanquished. Done. Elections? No bearing.

Lord, my rejoicing and confident heart does not even begin to express my inner excitement at the outcome of your promised return. Elections? No bearing.

To Speak or Not To Speak

Boldly speak up for Christ to those who know him not (Isa 24:1-3). #BoldWitness #Fearless https://www.bible.com/116/isa.24.1-3.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How desperate will be those who know not the Lord at judgment – “Priests and people, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors. No one will be spared.” The Lord takes no pleasure in judgment. Yet it will come.

What to do? Can I go through my life knowing I have the answer for any man who wants a reason for the hope within me (1Pe 3:15)? On my watch, if I speak and no one listens, it’s on them. But if I do not speak at all, their lives are on me. Father, may I always be bold to speak fearlessly, clearly, for you.

Behind The Curtain, GOD

Put your faith in a sovereign God who works his will through the affairs of men (Isa 18:3;21:8,9). #ComeLordJesus #JesusWillReign https://www.bible.com/116/isa.18.3.nlt https://www.bible.com/116/isa.21.8-9.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Praying through the ancient prophecies of Isaiah regarding all the godless nations surrounding Israel and Judah. Not an easy read. I was considering the fact that EVERY PROPHECY over every nation has been FULFILLED (Isa 14-23).

God is a sovereign, who providentially works his will through all the affairs of men. I have every reason to believe that the prophecies of the future (Isa 24-27, New Testament, et al.) will be fulfilled, just as they were in those ancient of days. My sentinel faith rests in an eternal Commander who seeks the ultimate good and will destroy all evil.

God In Our Conscience

Trust fully in God‘s judgment of all evil works (Isa 34:1-4). #GodWillJudge BelieveGodsPromises https://www.bible.com/116/isa.34.1-4.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In the closing days of Israel and Judah‘s national lives the prophet Isaiah dominates their collective conscience. But he speaks also into the conscience of other nations as well. These nations, though used by God to discipline his people, are caught up in the evil of their own ends. There is nothing righteous about them.

God’s message, through Isaiah, to the nations of the earth is certain judgment for their hostile and pagan attitude toward God. Isaiah’s prophecies were all fulfilled. “Let God be found true and every man be found a liar“ (Rom 3:4). Lord, you are certain to carry out every word of prophetic judgment against all evil in this world.

“Chopped” Pt2: America In Crisis

Engage life with a surrendered heart to God (2Ki 17:13-15). #Judgment #TurnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/2ki.17.13-15.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In a popular Food Network show, chefs compete to be the “Chopped Champion.“ Every round ends with a critique (judgment) of their food. One chef is eliminated. A judge explains the critique to the chef and says, “For these reasons, we had to chop you.“

In 2 Kings 17, God explains his reasons for judgment. They are Israel’s flagrant idolatry, obstinate disobedience and her rejection of God. She had sold her soul to worship of the stars (astrology), child sacrifice and other occult practices. “For these reasons,“ the cleaver of God‘s judgment had fallen on Israel.

Is America facing elimination? Why would she? The answer: she has forgotten/left behind the foundational principles and Biblical values upon which she was built. For this she will pay a heavy price. Like Israel and Judah of old, she will find herself in a “captivity” of her own making. She will find herself in perilous times. She will find herself dealing with the God who loves her and set her apart as exceptional.

America, my beloved nation, is in a moral melee. Her moral clarity is on the chopping block. The cleaver of God‘s judgment is certain to fall. She has leapt over the precipice of moral restraint and is in a free fall of decadent behavior.

What kind of behavior? The killing of innocent babies in the womb. Rampant immoral sexual behavior and homosexuality that is now the “new normal.” Violence in our streets. Public shootings – malls, schools, theaters and homes. Widespread use of drugs and alcohol. Politicians and other leaders ignore the people, lie, cover up their misdeeds and participate in all manner of ugly and shameless partisan vitriol…and so much more.

Further more, God has been rejected by the avant-garde. They wish to remove all traces of God from schools, government, and the marketplace. The church and Christianity has been pushed to the margins of the culture, ignored as an influence in public discourse, mocked and ridiculed as extreme. Soft persecution is here. A rise of more intense persecution may be expected.

God did not make a mistake when ordaining America as a light, a beacon of freedom and liberty against the tyranny of kings and dictators. I believe that America may expect God to orchestrate all of our circumstances (good and bad) in His providence in order to bring her back to faith in Him.

All of our hope is in Him. As a sentry on the wall of intercession it is my duty to earnestly pray and sound a clear warning. I pray for a repentant America and that God will raise up young leaders and Americans that love him and love this country.

“Chopped” Pt1; A Choice To Make

Heed God’s warnings and repent [turn around] (2Ki 17:22,23). #Judgment #TurnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/2ki.17.22-23.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In a popular Food Network show, chefs compete to be the “Chopped Champion.“ Every round ends with a critique (judgment) of their food. One chef is eliminated. A judge explains the critique to the chef and says, “For these reasons, we had to chop you.“

God does the same with Israel. She had been warned (v13). God then explains that she has been flagrantly idolatrous (vv9,10,15,16), obstinately disobedient (vv12,15,16) and rejected God (v14,15). She had sold her soul to worship of the stars (astrology), child sacrifice and other occult practices (v17). “For these reasons,“ (v18) the cleaver of God‘s judgment had fallen on them.

Lord, may the heart of this sentry remain sensitive to your Spirit. May I listen to your warnings, change quickly and alert others clearly.