There Is Hope

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Hope in, anticipate the righteous reign of Christ (Zep 3:8–13). #HaveHope #HopeRenewsTheSpirit

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Israel would understand from the words of this prophet that though they have been severely judged for sin, there will be a day of deliverance as well. They would be returned to their land a different people, humbled and surrendered. And so they were.

But there will also come a future day when God will judge all nations. The curse of Babel will be broken. All will worship God in one tongue. Rebels, the proud and arrogant will be removed. The remnant of faithful followers will dwell in safety and live to honor God. Lord, we look forward with hope to the day when the proud and arrogant will no longer rule; Christ will reign from his eternal throne.

No Evil Will Stand

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand fast against evil; wait on the Lord’s judgment (Zep 3:6–8). #GodWillJudge #PatientlyWaitOnTheLord #StandFast

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God has demonstrated his power over and over again. He has sent warning upon warning to those disobedient to his word. What has man done? He has doubled down on his sin. He has hardened his heart towards God.

Corruption, persecution of goodness and unbelief continue. But to those victims God says, “You be patient…in due time I will pour out my fury and devour evil nations. Judgment is inevitable. Lord, enable the sentry’s everyday response to evil; enable the sentry to speak for and wait on you.

Death: The Tomb

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Today, if you hear God’s voice, do not harden your heart (Zep 3:1,5 ). #PutFaithInJesus #JesusDiedForAllOurSin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I am astounded at the complete indifference of men towards God. Even in the midst of God’s discipline, men sin even more. But this is the depravity of man. Should I be so surprised, is it not the depravity of my own soul? Yet, God is there in their midst, working, doing good and meting out justice.

Today, as I think about the rejection of God in the sinful city of Jerusalem, I think about the Lord Jesus and his descent into a dark tomb, I am struck by three things:

◦ The Son of God entered into our sin infested world to deliver all men from sin, the supreme example of God’s love for us

◦ He was despised and rejected though he did no wrong; men hated him and nailed him to a cross

◦ The justice meted out by God in Christ was the cleansing of all man’s sin by the blood shed by Jesus at the cross; he was our substitute, bore our punishment for sin

WHO DOES THAT?

GOD DOES!

What sorrow awaits those who reject the love of God in Christ.

Faithful Father

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Know the assurance of God‘s faithfulness, even in judgment (Zeph 2:7,9; Zep 3:12,13,20). #ExtremeLoveExtremeDiscipline #GodIsAlwaysFaithful

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

There should be no doubt that God will fulfill all his promises to his people (Gen 17). His people will (and have) survived all of antiquity. Through times of severe sorrow, judgment and destruction there has always been a remnant of his faithful ones who survive.

Even so in this passage – though God’s judgment comes upon Jerusalem and his people, he will save a remnant to secure his promise to Abraham. His promises do not abrogate his willingness to correct or even severely discipline his people. Lord your promises to love, keep and stand with me do not mean I shall never be corrected or severely disciplined.

Nations Bow

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to God in humble worship (Zep 2:5–15). #EveryKneeShallBow #WorshipTheLord

How God Views Our World

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Final and swift judgment will also come upon all those who taunt God’s people. God will use the evil of those nations who hate God’s people (Israel) to discipline his people. But those nations will, “receive the [just] wages for their [sin] and pride, because they scoffed at God and his people” (v15).

There will be a day when the nations of the world will worship the Lord (v11). May the nations of the world bow down in repentance and worship the Lord even today. Lord, there is none who escape your view. All men will one day bow before you. May that day be sooner than later.

Carpe Diem

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Take advantage of this season for repentance (Zeph 2:1–3). #Repent #TurnToGodToday #SeizeTheMoment #CarpeDiem

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The deafening siren of alarm preceding judgment is only superseded by the urgent clarion cries to repent. The prophet is saying, “If you are hearing my message of judgment, then there is still time to repent and return to God.“ The season for repentance is brief and will quickly dissipate.

Seize this moment in time. Repent and turn to God while there is still time. Seek the Lord in humble contrition for sin. Follow his ways and do what is right. Repentance will deliver us through certain judgment. Lord, may I take every advantage of this season, this moment, to repent and turn to you .

Consequence Of Sin

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Never flirt with nor tolerate sin in your life (Zeph 1:10–18). #CertainDestructionOfSin #NoEscapingSin’sConsequence

Don’t Ignore Sin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This prophecy takes your breath away. It is swift, sweeping and severe (it took me a couple of days to absorb it). The prophet minces no words. God fully intends to punish sin and purify his people. When judgment comes, people inside the walls of Jerusalem will wail in sorrow over their destruction. No one, no sin, will be overlooked, to the darkest recesses.

Property and homes will be destroyed. Plants, vineyards, all life will be destroyed. Strong men will weep. Distress, gloom and blackness will sweep the city. It’s walls will be smashed. Blood will run in the streets and bodies will lay rotting on the ground. Life in Jerusalem will come to a terrifying end. Why? Because of sin (v17).

Lord, remove toleration of sin in my life (the life of my nation) far from me (from us). “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalms 139:23-24 NLT

Swift Judgment

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not delay turning to God in faith (Zeph 1:10,14). #SwiftJudgment #TimeToRepentIsNow #TodayIsTheDayOfSaving

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God is oh so long-suffering with man in his sin and complacency. Messages of warning are sent out to repent and turn to God – judgment is coming. Eventually there will come that watershed moment when God‘s wrath over sin will pour forth like the sudden unexpected crack and devastation of a lightning strike. Swift, powerful, deafening, destructive.

We see the storm clouds gathering. We hear the distant thunder. We feel the atmospheric changes. Now the rain of God‘s judgment is falling upon us. A cry of alarm goes out, but it’s too late to run for cover. Father, the cry of the sentry is that the time to prepare, to repent, is now, while there is still time. May the nations not delay to turn to God in faith.

A Call To Personal Surrender

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come in full surrender to God for genuine revival (2Ki 23:26,27). #Revival #FullySurrenderToGod #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Even though Josiah became one of Judah‘s greatest kings – he led according to God‘s ways – God was still angry with Judah for all the wickedness of Josiah‘s grandfather, Manasseh. (Certainly Josiah‘s father, Amon, did nothing to redirect Judah spiritually).

Other prophets will address Judah’s spiritual malaise during Josiah‘s reign. (2Ki 2:16-20 explains that judgment will be postponed until the end of Josiah’s reign) Even the spiritual greatness of a leader is no guarantee that the people will genuinely surrender their hearts to God.

Lord, This sentry understands that revival comes only as individuals sincerely repent and surrender fully to God (beginning with me).

Grieved

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May the nations call upon the living God in repentance (Nah 3:8–19; Isa 55:6). #CallUponGod #TimeIsShort #RepentAndTurnToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Naham’s prophesy is that Assyria and her capital city, Nineveh, will be utterly destroyed. Annihilated. Because of her insane arrogance, brutality and cruelty, her indulgent sin and rejection, even defiance of God, she will be decimated. The fatal blow to ancient Assyria came at the hands of Jehovah God. No one would mourn her passing. All celebrated the obliteration of this superpower.

I’m Grieved For Our World Today

Just as predicted, Assyria was no more. This should sober the world today, grieve us, to repentance. Like the north winds are a sign of the coming winter, so the prophecy of Nahum over Assyria should serve as a harbinger of things to come in our world today. The nations of the earth should take heed. There will be a day of judgment, a day of reckoning. May God send an awakening into our world. May God awaken our world from her sleep of death.

Righteous Anger Prevails

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live your life before God in sincere and humble repentance (Nah 3:1-8). #CityOfShamelessSin #JudgmentOfSinInevitable #RighteousAnger

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What was Nineveh to God? She was a “city of murder, city of lies“ (v1); her victims reveal “countless casualties, heaps of bodies“ (v3). She was a “city of faithlessness, a city of deadly charm“ [fatal attraction] (v4). Nineveh was a city of extreme violence, brutality and cruelty (v19). She was a city of pride and arrogance (v8).

There is bad, and then there is evil. Nineveh was evil, on par with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:24). Though Nineveh had repented under Jonah’s preaching (Jon 3:6–10), she later ruthlessly destroyed Israel (the northern kingdom). She was now threatening Judah (the southern kingdom) and the entire history of God’s people.

When sin/evil threatens the work of God and his redemption plan, God, in righteous anger, will move to eliminate the threat (note also Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5). Lord, may I live a life of sincere repentance towards you.

Prayer For The Fall Of Evil

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May the Lord God break the back of the faithless, murderous and despotic leaders of Russia and deliver the Ukrainian people (Nah 3:1-19). #FallOfEvil

My sentry’s prayer this morning Lord, is that you would stand against the faithless, murderous, cruel, oppressor Russia. May the good and decent people of the world stand against the evil greedy intentions of the authoritarian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Lord, would you show yourself as the enemy of the cold-blooded and demonic intentions of Vladimir Putin. May the fate of his regime and power be the same as Nineveh of old. Reveal to the world The stink and the foul odor of his real intentions. May he find himself on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of righteousness.

May the fortress of nuclear power and the façade of strength be broken down and brought to nothing. Remove from Vladimir Putin’s arsenal the princes, officers, advisers and allies around him. May he find himself alone, isolated and without recourse. May his demise be fatal politically and in every other way. Then the good and decent nations of this world will celebrate. May they acknowledge the goodness and greatness of the Lord God.

Fall of a nation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May the nations and people of our world humbly surrender their hearts to God (Nah 2:11-13). #FallOfANation #RepentenceOfTheNations

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The great city of Nineveh, the great Assyrian empire, will be no more. She roamed about the earth fearing no one – all feared her. But she was ravenous for power and shredded without mercy everything on her way to it.

Assyria’s mighty military would be decimated by the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. She would never mercilessly plunder the nations again. Her voice will be utterly silenced for the ages.

Lord, pity the nation steeped in raw power, mercilessly and brutally overthrowing other nations. May we know the goodness of nations that are surrendered to God.

• The sentry cries out: I am no prophet. I am no judge. But nations in our world who brutalize their own people and the people of other nations will suffer mightily. Will Russia suffer the consequences of her brutal attacks on Ukraine? God will be the judge.

Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Look to God to defend and deliver you from oppressors (Nah 2:1,2). #GodIsMyDeliverer #GodIsDefenderOfTheDefenseless

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God says to the godless rebels who defy him and ransack his people, “Prepare for battle. Put on your best readiness. Then watch, as I destroy the one who destroys. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. God mocks the defenses of the wicked (note Psm 37:12-15). They are no match for the God of Israel.

Chapter 1 has introduced Assyria to her assailer, her judge. Chapter two and three will define her judgment. Make no mistake, God will destroy the godless in the end. He will rescue the defenseless. Lord, may I always look to you as my defender.

Choose Well

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May our nation and our people make choices that honor God (2Ch 32:32–33:2). #ChooseToHonorGod #ChooseWell

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

As Isaiah goes off the scene Manasseh becomes king of Judah. He did what was evil in God’s sight. It is hard to imagine how anyone could ignore the prophet Isaiah and his prophecies of destruction in the face of rejecting God. But the draw of the world and the empty promises of false religion blind men to the truth.

Manasseh ignored Isaiah. His rejection of God will lead to serious consequences (as it will for any who reject God). He will soon feel the weight of God‘s hand against him. Lord, the years have shown this sentry what a foolhardy choice it is for nations and individuals to reject your love and direction.

Not Just Any Word

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be ready and faithful to share God’s word (2Ti 4: 1,2). #NotJustAnyWord #AnyTimeAGoodTimeForGodsWord #InSeasonAndOutOfSeason

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Faithfulness to the holy Scriptures is a recurring theme in Paul’s letters to Timothy. God‘s Word is to be preached in any and all situations and ages. It is useful to correct what is wrong, drive back with his dissident and encourage the people of God. I must use every opportunity to share God’s Word.

Jesus will one day return and set up his eternal kingdom and judge the world. Preaching God‘s word faithfully will help to prepare people for this event on the world stage. Lord, give me the love, the boldness and the holy want to, to share God’s word.

Cleaning Up Sin

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Clean up your own sin before holding others accountable for theirs; trust God with any hidden sin (1Ti 5:22,24,25). #JudgingOthers #ExamineYourselfFirstForSin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The closing verses of this passage, advising Timothy on choosing church leaders and how to minister to widows, is a little awkward (including one seemingly stray personal comment on drinking wine – v23). When it comes to judging others (vv19,20), Paul says, get the facts, corroborate them and deal forthrightly with accusations without playing favorites. Paul then says, “Stay pure yourself.” (A leader living in sin is in no condition to make judgments about others).

Finally, know this, some sin is obvious, just as good works may be obvious. But not every sin of leaders may be immediately discernible. So, use much prayer and discretion, to begin with, in choosing who will lead.

Lord, may I be forthright with my own sin (Psm 139:24), then prayerfully deal with sin that is obvious in others (Mat 18:15f; Gal 6:1). Any hidden sin in others is God’s responsibility Lord (Num 32:23).

New Year’s Gift

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give thanks to God for including all men in his great Redemption (1Ti 2:1,3-6). #WhosoeverWillMayCome

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

If one were the sovereign of a perfect kingdom and could choose one’s own kingdom people, who might that one choose? Would one choose only people like one’s self? One might be highly selective. But God is not like that. He includes everyone of us (even a wretch like me). He excludes no one in his call to come. In fact, he tells us to pray for “ALL“ men to understand this truth and enter into his kingdom (Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever will may come”).

One may say, “Well, I don’t like God. He condemns my sin, says I will suffer consequences for my sin.“ Yes, but he is also our mediator and he has reconciled all humanity to him by Christ’s death on the cross. He suffered our consequences and purchased our freedom to choose him and his kingdom. All may come to him. We may exclude ourselves, but he excludes no one. This is the message, GOD’S GIFT to the world (Rom 6:23). Thank you Lord, for including me (not excluding me) in your kingdom.

B E L I E V E

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Believe Christ came to free men from the law of sin and death (1Ti 1:8-11). #BELIEVE

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul refutes the self proclaimed “teachers“ in Ephesus who were mixing grace and the law of Moses. He explains that “the law is good…when used [applied] correctly.“ The law was not given as a list of rules to keep (Gal 5:1) – if you’re 100% righteous you don’t need the law. But who is that righteous? No one! (Rom 3:10)

The law condemns the lawbreaker (note 1Ti 1:9,10). The law is judge, jury and executioner of every man. The law was given to expose man’s sin, that which is rebellious towards God (Gal 3:19). Sin is an attitude of the heart that rebels against God. Lord, your law has taught me that I am hopelessly lost and condemned without the grace of Christ.

Last Words

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you clearly understand the warnings of God’s Word (Isa 66:22-24). #LastWords

Time Keeps On Slippin’…Into The Future

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I am closing out my Morning Watch in the book of Isaiah. I am certain that I have not understood every nuance of the prophet’s utterances. I pray that by the Spirit, I have caught the essence and urgency of the message. I’m indebted to Barnes’ Notes on Isaiah for help along the way.

The last verses in this book complete and describe, in dramatic fashion, the great divide between all of humanity (the faithful and the rebellious). Isaiah foresees a future when all the world, the faithful of every nation, will regularly observe a Sabbath (4th Commandment – Exo 20:8) genuinely worshiping the redeemer God.

As the faithful are departing worship they shall see the dead bodies and smell the putrid rotting flesh of every foe that has stood against God and his people. An abhorrent vision, abhorrent close, to this book in the Bible. It should cause every soul to consider the warnings of a holy, but loving, God and turn towards him in repentance, surrender and obedience.

Lord, the details of this prophetic book have caused even this aged sentry to think far more deeply on the things God has to say to me; yea, even to the world.

Fly Your Colours

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Boldly raise your colours to proclaim the message of God’s redemption (Isa 66:19-20). #FlyYourColors #ProclaimTheGoodNews #ChristianWitness

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God says that at the time of his judgment of his enemies, “[he] will perform a sign among them.“ It is not clear what the “sign” may be. But it will signal the salvation of his people – they will know it when they see it. In Isaiah, a “sign“ most always has to do with power that could only be attributed to the Divine activity of God (e.g. 7:11;11:12;18:3). Even the Messiah himself is given as a “sign.”

Whatever the sign, it’s effect will open the door to the remnant who survived God’s judgment. They will carry the message of God’s redemption to the world. Could this also be pointing to the time when the Apostles spread the Gospel to the known world? Perhaps this itself is the “sign.“* Or, could it be [according to the blogger] that every believer in Christ are themselves the “sign” of God’s redemptive message?

Lord, whatever the meaning of the “sign”, this old sentry will be flying the colours of God’s redemption in his life.

* For further explanation: Albert Barnes makes this comment: “The whole passage is so accurately descriptive of what occurred in the times when the gospel was first preached to the pagan world, that there can be little danger of error in referring it to those times.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament, Isaiah, Pg. 439)

No Place To Hide

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Comprehend God’s animus towards sin, but love for the sinner (Isa 66:18,19a). #GodHatesSinButLovesTheSinner #GodWillJudgeSin #RepentReturnToGod

Grace Flows Where Sin Abounds

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah makes it clear that, though God’s enemies (disobedient ones) go hiding to commit their sacrilege in private places (17), he sees their sin. He knows clearly who they are, where they are and what they are doing (men love [their private] darkness rather than light for their deeds are evil (see John 3:16-21). Nothing escapes God’s knowledge (Luk 12:2; Heb 4:13).

Isaiah also alludes to a future time (not clear when) that God will hold to account and destroy all his enemies. Every nation will be brought together to see collectively this manifestation of God’s glory and the absolute deliverance of those devoted to him. Lord, you have known my every weakness, sin and failure. Yet, by grace, you loved this old sentry and accepted him in Christ the beloved (Eph 1:6).

Faithfulness: The Winning Strategy

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain faithful and look to God‘s promises in the midst of troubled times (Isa 65:8–10). #GodIsFaithful #StayFaithful #WinningStrategy

In Israel: Tbe Valley of Achor &
The Plains of Sharon

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In the midst of God’s severe discipline for the sin of Israel and Judah, there will be a remnant preserved; those who have not forsaken God. These will inherit the land they lost in the Babylonian captivity (prophetically speaking here). The beautiful plains of Sharon, overgrown during 70 years of captivity, will once again thrive with flocks and beautiful, peaceful pastures. Even the “Valley of Achor” (means troubled, afflicted) where Israel was once afflicted for the sin of a man called Achan (Jos 7:24; Hos 2:15), would become a source of blessings, peace and joy upon return from captivity.

It is clear that even good people, faithful followers of God, may suffer because of the disobedience of the many in a nation (“good grapes among bad ones”). But God is careful to sort it all out. From this I understand that even in the midst of great trouble and tribulation, God promises blessings to those who remain faithful to him. Lord, may I always follow the winning strategy of faithfulness and depend upon your promises.

Wonderful Savior

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have open eyes and hearts to the Savior, Jesus (Isaiah 59:17–21). #Salvation #Redeemer #Repentance

Yeshuah, Jesus, Weeps & Prays Over Jerusalem

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God’s answer to the sin of men and there inability to save themselves is to send a righteous, sinless redeemer. He will be dressed in righteousness and robbed in Divine passion. He will judge God’s enemies, all of sin and deliver Salvation.

This redeemer Prince from Jerusalem (Yeshuah [Jesus] Rom 11:26), will keep covenant with Israel, save her from her sin. Indeed all of mankind will benefit, from east to west, from the Lord’s salvation. All those who turn from sin will know the salvation of the Lord. Lord, what a wonderful, merciful and thoughtful Savior you are.

The Substitute

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

O that we may deepen in our love for and surrender to Jesus (Isa 53:3-6). #SufferingServant #ForgivenessForSin https://bible.com/bible/97/isa.53.2-6.MSG

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The painful reality is that our Redeemer-prince, who is here spoken of, suffered excruciatingly for our sin. He was treated as lower than the lowest in society. He took upon himself the grief and agonies of men. He was our substitute. Men interpreted his calamities as punishment for his own sin. But, NO! It was for our sin, my sin, that he took such punishment.

Jesus was my substitute. He was crushed for my sins, whipped so I could be healed (made whole). It was I for whom my Savior bled and died. He was my substitute. The Lord – God laid upon him all the sins of every man, past and present. He was my substitute; the sinless servant suffered punishment for my sin. No other could have stood in for me and borne the penalty for my sin? No one! Lord, may the love and devotion of this old sentry for you, deepen with every passing day.