An Emerging Wasteland

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May America have shepherd leaders who honor God (Jer 2:10–13). #TurnBackToGod #GodOurOnlyHope

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Leaders in Judah had been as heedless in guiding the people of God as careless indifferent shepherds who send their sheep to graze on the young vines of a vineyard. The consequence is that the sheep unwittingly make the beautiful vines a wasteland.

So God’s people had laid waste to all of the blessings of God on them. They did not see the signs of the gathering armies on the hilltops, ready to wield God’s sword of judgment upon them. They have done “religious” works, done the work of planting, but they will harvest a crop of shame and devastation. Lord, give us shepherd leaders today who will honor God and pay heed to his word.

________

America today is squandering her blessings from God. We are becoming a vast wasteland. Illegal immigrants are overrunning us and depleting our resources. Inflation is devouring financial resources. Immorality and homosexuality is laying waste to our moral resources. Our children are being sacrificed on altars of humanistic/socialistic ideologies and compromising this, our most precious resource. Lord, may our leaders show signs of humble repentance and point America back towards you.

Do The Unexpected

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Treat those antagonistic towards the faith with Mercy and Prayer (Jud 1:22,23). #Mercy #TheUnexpected

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How do I treat and pray for those who malign faith in Christ and the biblical values I hold dear? Do the unexpected thing. Be merciful towards others whose faith is faltering; rescue those who have gone to the dark side. But do so cautiously, hating the sin and not getting caught up in their departure from faith. Galatians 6:1 comes to mind.

Certainly praying for those who malign the faith is implied here and made clear in Luke 6:28. As hard as it may be, pray for those who live and think contrary to you. Do the unexpected thing. Pray for them. Over time your attitude towards them will change. Mercy will kick in. Lord, create in me a desire to act mercifully towards those who have faltered or left the faith and to pray for them.

Standing Against Evil & Deceiving Spirits

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek first the rebuke of God against deceiving spirits and evil authority in this world (Jude 1:5-11). #StandingAgainstSatan #StandingAgainstDeceivingSpirits

“The Lord Rebuke You Satan!”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude 1:9 presents an interesting account of a dispute between Michael the Archangel and Satan over the body of Moses. Nothing further is known about this specific account. Any explanation is conjecture. What we do know is that when Moses died, God buried him (Deu 34:5-8).

We also know that there is a mighty war being waged against evil in this world (2Co 4:3,4; 1Jn 5:19). The war against evil is also being waged in spiritual realms as well (Dan 10:12-14).

I take the Bible at its word. I believe it to be the inspired, inerrant word of God. I accept Jude’s account at face value. Read verse nine in context (vv5-11). After some study and prayer, this is my humble conclusion about Jude’s account:

Even the Archangel of Heaven, Michael, does not take matters into his own hands when dealing with those who have authority (bestowed or otherwise). Even satanic authority.

Michael doesn’t call Satan names. He doesn’t make accusations. He doesn’t command decrees. He doesn’t pronounce any curses. HE CALLS FORTH THE REBUKE OF GOD against the archenemy enemy of Christ. “The Lord rebuke you.” This same prayer is used against Satan in Zech 3:1,2 where he is the accuser of Yeshua, God’s High Priest (See note at the bottom*).

Herein lies a key weapon in the battle against deceiving spirits and evil authority in this world or in the church. PRAYER! Prayer that calls forth the the LORD of Hosts, the Mighty Commander of Heaven’s Armies to fight our battles.

PRAYER is a powerful and mighty weapon against evil. PRAYER, calling forth God’s intervention, will bring down all the mighty, all the corrupt, all the arrogant, all the perverted and (in this text) all the apostate. Prayer for God’s intervention into the affairs of men and the affairs of the church is the first plan of action, not a last resort. God will fight your battles (Exo 14:14). This is what I believe to be the point of Jude 1:9.

Jude is saying, in context, to this old sentry that I must be alert to apostate teachers (or any other deceitful authority), alert to the evil they represent. I must not be drawn into their web of deceit and assassination of the truth of the Gospel. BUT IN PRAYER, CALL ON THE POWERS OF HEAVEN TO INTERVENE. This is how I should respond first to those in any seat of authority. Then follow God’s counsel from there.

* Little is known about Jude’s accounting of the argument between Michael and Satan. But the phrase “The LORD rebuke you” is used elsewhere (eg. Zech 3:1-4). That should signal some thoughts of validation in Jude. My study of the Zechariah passage reveals to me that the prophet had a vision of the high courts of Heaven. The High Priest, Joshua [or Yeshua – symbolic of Christ], is standing before the LORD. Satan is at his side accusing him. “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘I, the LORD [rebuke you], I reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you.’”

But it is not the sin of the High Priest in Zechariah’s passage that is represented here. It is all the sin of Israel, as it were, represented in him, and what befalls the nation, that is the image here. The “filthy clothes” of the High Priest is the familiar symbol of sin before God; and he wears it, just as he wore his sacerdotal dress before God, in his official capacity.

The High Priest was the embodiment of the nation. He stands before the judgment seat, bearing not his own but the people’s sins. This is a for-shadowing of our High Priest, Christ Jesus. He stands bearing all the sin, all the filth, of the world on the cross at Calvary. He is our substitution. He would die for our sin, be buried with our sin, then be raised from the dead cleansed from all our sin and clothed in robes of righteousness. This Christ did for all of mankind. HALLELUJAH!

It is for Satan’s accusations of the Son of Man, our High Priest; it is for Satan’s defiance of truth, that the Scriptures announce…

“The LORD rebuke you Satan.”

Comments Welcome

“Ghosted”*

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we heed every call to repentance; live faithfully for God (Jer 9:10–16). #TheHighCostOfAbandoningGod #Ghosted #TurnNowToGod #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God set in motion a plan for his people (using the pagan nation, Babylon) to bring severe judgment and discipline upon them (Jeremiah weeps bitterly). The land of Judah will be made a desolate wilderness and Jerusalem a heap of ruins. No one will go there or travel there. It will be a ghost town.

“Why?“ God asks. He answers – because his people had abandoned him, broke their promises to him. They went their own stubborn way and worshiped Baal gods (who are no gods). God would scatter them to places they never heard of. It is a tragic and frightening thing for any people (nation) to turn their backs on God.

Lord, may every prayer sentry (their beloved nation) take seriously any daily call to repentance and live faithfully for you.

* Ghosted (an Urban definition): – a term used to describe when a person closely known to another, stops taking their calls and answering their texts. These actions are usually preceded by many a broken promise to “hang out,” be friendly or romantically attached or “catch up” on the part of the “Ghoster.” Such was God to Judah after their many broken promises to follow him.

Those Lyin’ Eyes

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Realize the real lies; discern the truth (Jer 8:8–13). #RealEyesRealizeRealLies #DiscernTheTruth #DontBeFooled

Think About It…

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The people of Judah put their swagger on. “We have the Word of the Lord on our side.” But that Word was twisted and misused by lying priest, false prophets and tricky officials. They used God’s Word to suit their own greedy ends. They did this unashamedly.

The leaders were treating the mortal, terminal wounds of sin superficially. They assured the people that, “Ev’thing would be alright.” But it would not be alright. The nation would lose everything. These lying leaders would be cut down and whatever they did have, would be lost. Oh my Lord, what a duty the watchman or woman has to speak the truth and discern truth. Give us leaders who speak the truth.

Bare-bones Judgment

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not minimize or underestimate the consequences of sin (Jer 8:1–3). #WagesOfSinIsDeath #NoTurningBack #ThoroughJudgment

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How thorough God’s judgment of Judah will be. Even the dead will be irreligiously and irreverently exhumed. Their bare bones will be spread like manure on the ground before the gods whom they loved, served and worshiped (sun, moon, stars). These gods (who are no gods) are powerless to protect and save them.

All who survive this humiliation will live another, wishing death over life in captivity. When that Day of Judgment comes there will be no turning back. This, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decreed. Lord, how can I think any less of my sin before you? What makes my beloved country think she can escape if she ignores God’s call to salvation (Heb 2:1-3)?

Depraved

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Acknowledge the depths of your depravity before God (Jer 7:30–34). #DeplorableDepravedDevastation #TurnNowToGod #LordSendAwakening

The Soul That Defies God

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The sins of Judah before God were of the most heinous kinds. The Temple of God in Jerusalem was used to worship odious other gods and idols. Shrines were built outside the city where the abominable practice of child sacrifice was conducted. Children were burned alive in the worship of other gods (who are no gods). This was a practice that Jehovah God neither commanded nor even considered.

God says, “This will come to an end; my people will pay a steep price for their sin. I will make the land a desolate place.” Lord, deliver my soul from any deplorable sin that offends you. Deliver the soul of my beloved country from the sin that offends you. May we humble ourselves, repent and follow after God.

Learn From History

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Learn from the past God’s faithfulness to do what he says he will do (Jer 7:11–15). #BelieveGod #PutFaithInGodAlone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah‘s message to rebellious Judah was to look to the past for clues in the present. God had destroyed the first site of the Tabernacle of God in Shiloh, because of the rebellion and idolatry of his people. Surely he will not spare the temple in Jerusalem.

The people of Judah should have learned from history and given heed to God’s word. They were warned. Now God was about to do in Jerusalem what he did in Shiloh. This aged sentry may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I am sharp enough to believe God and take him at his word.

America today is in an abyss of sin. She will pay a heavy price for ignoring God; for flaunting her sin. But if she will turn to God he will be merciful. PRAY FOR AWAKENING!

Worthless Silver

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we respond in repentance to the refining fires of God’s judgment (Jer 6:27–30i). #RefinersFire #ProvingSpiritualWorth

Discarded Worthless Silver

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like an assayer judges the value of precious metal, so Jeremiah makes an assessment of the spiritual worth of God’s people. The determination is that the refiner’s fire has proved God’s people are unrepentant and of the worst value.

God’s people are hard like iron. Unusable. The fires of previous judgments have not brought about any purification. Therefore, they are “rejected silver“ and cast aside by the God. Oh, that America, me or my family might not become “rejected silver.“ Lord thank you for the fires of refining in my life (Pro 25:4,5). May those fires prove the value of this old sentry’s walk with you.

Terror & Crime Watch

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Listen to God and fear not to speak truth and grace into culture (Jer 6:22-26). #repent #TurnNowToGod #TimeIsRunningOut

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

America should learn the lesson of Judah. Part of God‘s judgment on his rebellious people was invasion, terrorism, cruel and merciless violence. People were afraid to travel across town or across the nation. Where is the security? Lawlessness and plunder rule the day. Like a woman giving birth – the pain is intense but no one comes to her aid (note 4:31).

America today stands in these crosshairs of judgment. Will she mourn and weep bitterly for the good times lost? Or will she weep bitter tears of repentance for sin against God? Lord may we have the courage to stand for you, to convey your message of truth and grace. Lord, give my beloved country a spirit of repentance.

Time’s Up

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Listen to God; walk in his way (Jer 6:17-21). #RepentanceForSin #TheOnlySavingPrayer #ListenToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The time has run out for Judah (as it did for Israel; the same for Nineveh and Assyria). The watchmen have sounded the alarm. But Judah said, “Naw, not interested.“ They would not take the ancient path of righteousness (v16).

Every nation should take heed to the disaster about to take place on God’s people. It is of their own making – they rejected the word of God and would not listen to him.

God says, “Don’t bother to pray your prayers of hypocritical worship” (“fragrance from incense” is a symbol of prayer – Rev 5:8). Judgment is on the way. Time has run out. The only prayer that will save Judah (or any other nation) is a prayer of sincere repentance towards God.

Feel The Love

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Rely upon God to restore a love relationship with him (Jer 6:10–15). #RestoredRelationship #RepentTowardsGod #FeelTheLove

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

People do not wish to follow God‘s way. “Too hard, no fun,“ they might say. Preachers and prophets are dissuaded from speaking the truth about sin and judgment. “Not a popular message,“ they say. All are marching shamelessly together in the opposite direction of God’s way. They have no fear of the living God.

[IT IS NO DIFFERENT TODAY THAN IN THE DAYS OF JEREMIAH – SHAMELESS REBELLION]

The cup of God‘s judgment was full against his people. In the end, no one was, nor will be, exempt from the fury of God. it was true then. It is true now.

God hates the life-wrecking ravages of sin. God loves his creation. Whom God loves he will discipline (Pro 3:11,12). This aged sentry has known, felt the Father’s love. I look to the Father to correct me and restore my relationship with him.

A Reckoning or Awakening

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May reckoning for sin be mercifully postponed in favor of a great awakening (Jer 5:26-31). #DayOfReckoning #Repentance #SpiritualAwakening #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God gives a full-throated condemnation of the powerful, the prophets, the priests and the people of Judah. The powerful abuse their wealth and power, taking advantage of the weak in society; they deny justice to the poor. The prophets speak lies and mislead the people about their sin. The priests don’t minister, they rule with an iron fist. Worst of all, the people were all just fine with the status quo. This hits close to home.

The end is coming. Judgment is at the gate for Judah [for any nation who perpetrates such a culture of flagrant sin and rejection of God]. Lord, it is plain to see that our world is headed for a reckoning unless, in God’s mercy, a spiritual awakening comes first.

It has been over 100 years since the last Great Awakening. “I would have despaired, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.” (Psm 27:13,14). LORD, IN YOUR METCY, SEND DOWN REVIVAL AND AWAKENING…beginning in the one square foot of land upon which I stand.

When God Cannot Forgive

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Turn humbly to God, confess sin and know his forgiveness (Jer 5:7-14). #Repent #GodWantsToForgive #TurnToGod #UnrepentanceDeniesForgivenes

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God asks, “Why should I forgive, pardon, you?“ Certainly God desires to forgive, but he will not. God asks? “Should I not punish this nation for her sin?“ Certainly God does not wish to punish any nation. So why wouldn’t he forgive? Why would he proceed to punish Judah?

The answer to these questions is, because of Judah‘s open and blatant sin and her arrogant, unrepentant attitude towards God. Because of this there WILL be no forgiveness and punishment WILL follow. God cannot forgive where there is no repentance. Lord, may this old sentry never again be found with an arrogant unrepentant attitude towards you.

May my beloved country turn humbly to you, confess her sin and know forgiveness.

Red Line

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek God with an open and genuine heart (Jer 5:1–6). #WalkHumblyBeforeGod #SeekGodWithYourWholeHeart #Repent #RedLine

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In all of Jerusalem, there could not be found even one honest person. For one honest person God would spare Jerusalem. But there was not one.

Time and time again God had tried to correct this rebellious people, but to no avail. Even the leaders assigned to the people in truth had failed – every single one.

There would be no escaping the judgment of God. The sin and corruption of these people had grown, their indifference crossed the red line. There was nothing left for God but to bring judgment upon them. Lord, may I, my beloved nation, genuinely and honestly seek you.

Our Fate, Our Choice

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Repent; turn to God and know his saving grace (Jer 4:11–18). #Repent #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The temporal, remedial, judgment of God is coming upon Judah and Jerusalem. Like a destroying desert wind – dry and hot – her enemies from the north will roar through Judah. Like billowing storm clouds rushing down upon its mark, so the chariots of the enemy will rush in on Judah.

Judah’s fate is however, in her hands. She can repent of her evil ways and be saved or she can continue in her rebellion against God and suffer the penalty of her sins. How shall the people of America (any nation) continue in sin and not suffer the consequences? Lord, turn the heart of my beloved nation back to you. May she know your saving grace.

Time Is Up

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humbly bow in repentance before God while there is still time (Jer 4:5–9) #NoMoreTime #Repent #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This is Jeremiah’s straight up warning to Judah that destruction was on its way. Time was out. The coming devastation would make all weep and mourn with broken hearts.

Babylon would fall upon Judah like a fierce lion falls upon its prey. God would withdraw his hand of blessing and protection from Judah. They would feel the full consequence of their sin and unrepentant nature. The king, all the officials, the priests and prophets would look on in horror. For they have ignored God and have themselves deceived the people.

America is not Judah of old. But her unrepentant nature mirrors that of Judah. She will pay the price for her sin. Even now she is reeling economically. Her social fabric is being ripped to shreds. Her borders are broken. Her enemies are licking their chops. Her leaders deceive us and explain away her woes. The voices of those in ministry are largely silent.

Lord, may the watchmen blow the trumpets of warning. May the hearts of this beloved nation be broken for sin. May she turn now to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Bad Habits, Hidden Sin

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain open to the plow of God’s Word (Jer 3:3,4). #PlowUpTheFallowGround #SurrenderYourPrideAndStrength

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah is sending a clear message of warning to Judah and it’s capital city, Jerusalem. Bad habits and hidden sin has hardened their hearts. Their hearts have become like unplowed ground: hard, crusty and dry. No new seed is able to penetrate it. Jeremiah says, “Plow up the hard ground of your heart. Change your heart before God before it is too late.“

The people of Judah must, just as I must, rid themselves of bad habits and hidden sin. They must break up the crusty hard ground of their hearts in surrender of pride and strength to God. Then God can so new seed of joy and faithfulness. Lord, this old sentry is seeking you to break up any hard hearted way of mine. Renew my spirit.

I Hear Ya Talkin’

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not minimize your sin; own it, repent of it, return to God (Jer 3:1-5). #IHearYouTalkin #BlahBlahBlah #YouGottaWalkTheTalk #TurnBackToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I cannot think of a much more demeaning example than to be equated with a prostitute. It graphically portrays a total moral collapse. It reveals a flagrant and intentional departure from all that is moral and right. Judah committed spiritual adultery. God views their abandonment of him for other gods (who are no gods) as spiritual prostitution.

What does Judah do? She minimizes her sin and guilt. “Come on God. Shoot, you’ll always be our number one guy. We’re just exploring life. You know us – we’re not that bad (tisk, tisk). Surely you can’t be angry over a few incidental departures from you.”

“God says, “I hear you talkin’, but I see no change in how you’re walkin’.“ It is clear that we can never negotiate with God over our sin. Lord may it not be said of this old sentry that I simply minimize my sin and take lightly my relationship with you.

A favorite rap:

“Admit It And Quit It!”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come clean with God for your sin (Jer 2:26). #AdmitItAndQuitIt #Incorrigible #Repent

You talkin’ ta me?

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like the thief who never feels shame…until he is caught, is Judah before God (v26). They say, “Oh no, it wasn’t me“ (vv23,35). INCORRIGIBLE! The facts (pesky facts) of their abandonment of God prove otherwise (vv27–32). I am afraid that I myself am guilty of this all too often. Aren’t we all?

Like the cat who ate the canary, the kid who is caught with his hand in the cookie jar, there is no denying Judah’s guilt of sin. Nor my guilt of sin. On my best day I am prone to sin. Rather than deny it, I need to own it. “Admit it and quit it,“ as someone once said. Lord give this sometimes wandering sentry the honesty to own his sin, confess it and receive your grace and mercy.

My Life Book On God’s Coffee Table

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May your life be a beautifully painted landscape unto the Lord (Jer 2:20–25). #CoffeeTableLegacy

Prairie Church, Leadville, Colorado (RWHollar)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Many are the visions given to Jeremiah which paint pictures of Judah’s apostasy. These word pictures make clear her sin.

Judah is like the beast that has broken off the yoke that bound her to God, to follow after other lesser gods (v20). She is the fruitful vine that had grown wild and corrupt, producing no fruit (v21). She is depicted as linen with stains so bad nothing could remove the stains (v23). She is shown as a wild donkey in heat. She chases nonstop one lesser God after another for intimate relations (v24,25).

I ask myself, if God painted pictures of how I look to him, would it be worthy to be on his coffee table? Lord it is my desire that my life become a beautifully painted landscape onto you.

Got Steel?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be fortified against the opposition of sin and evil (Jer 1:18-19). #ManOfSteel #GotSteel #FightForTruthAndJustice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The message Jeremih had for the people – kings, politicians, priests, ministers, the people of God was one of judgment for sin. Jeremiah would be scorned and rejected. But his detractors would fail. God would make of Jeremiah a fortified city, a man of steel, to speak against sin.

Anyone called of God is obligated to teach and explain the whole counsel of God. It is not always a glorious task. Rather it can be and is an inglorious one. Many will not listen. In fact they may fight against you. But God’s promise to the man or woman of God is that he will steel you against the opposition of the world against truth. Lord, this posted sentry is relying upon you to fortify him in the trenches of ministry and prayer.

Mercy Expired

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not tempt God; heed his warnings of continuing in sin (Jer 1:11–16). #Don’tTemptGod #GodWillDoWhatHeSays

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

A teenaged Jeremiah is in the throes of receiving his call from God. Having established the call, God then gives Jeremiah two visions: 1) an almond tree branch and 2) boiling water pouring out from a cauldron.

The almond tree was first to blossom in the spring. It represents the beginning of God‘s remedial judgment of sin on his people (this is the result of God‘s warning in Deu 30:15–18; 32:35). The boiling water pouring out represents an enemy from the north who will devour God’s people.

The Lord is long-suffering with sin. But his long-suffering has an expiration date. Lord, may we live in reverence towards your word.

Shield & Defense

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Trust God as the ultimate victor in life‘s battles (Psm 21:8–13). #TheBattleIsTheLords #MyShieldAndDefense

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The plans of the wicked may seem to gain ground temporarily. The wicked may win this battle or that. But the Lord is the ultimate victor in the war. The song says, “Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer…In his arms he’ll take and shield you. You will find a solace there.“*

The Lord will consume the enemy. The enemy will flee at the mere sight of God’s presence. “We celebrate God‘s mighty victories.“ Lord, you are the sentry’s mighty shield and defense against the wicked forces in this world

* What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Joseph M. Scriven, 1855; the tune was composed by Charles Crozat Converse, 1868