THE WATCHMAN

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Thy way, not mine, O Lord, however dark it be;

Lead me by Thine own hand, choose out the path for me.

“…if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ … I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.” Ezekiel 33:6-7

“Some one, then, must undertake the ungracious task of probing and laying bare the evils of the age; for men must not be allowed to congratulate themselves that all is well. If others will not, he will.

If others shrink from the obloquy of such a work, he will not…. He loves his fellow-men too well. They may upbraid him; they may call him a misanthropist, or a prophet of evil; they may ascribe his warnings to the worst of motives, such as pride, or arrogance, or self-esteem, or malice, or envy; but he will give no heed to these unjust insinuations.

He will prefer being thus misunderstood and maligned, to allowing men to precipitate themselves upon a ruin which they see not. Rather than that they should perish, he will allow his own good name to be spoken against. He will risk every thing, even the hatred of brethren, rather than withhold the warning. If they give no heed to it, he has, at least, saved his own soul. If they do, he has saved both his own soul and theirs.

He would rather take up the glad tidings of peace, and tell men of Him who came the first time for shame and death, and who is coming the second time for glory and dominion; but he feels as one who has a special and personal message to deliver, which cannot be postponed.

He must remember that he is a watchman; and, having seen danger pressing on, he must not hesitate to make it known. He must speak his message of forewarning and rebuke, sparing no arrows, and neither smoothing down nor hiding any form of sin, but laying his finger upon every sore, and beseeching men to turn from their ungodliness. The evils around him press upon him sadly; the coming evils are foreshadowed upon his spirit, and, therefore, he lifts up his voice like a trumpet.

Satan has many snares which need to be detected; the world has many spells and lures which must be disenchanted; religion has many guises which must be unmasked, many devious paths of inconsistency which must be pointed out, many cherished errors which must be condemned, many carnal taints which must be abhorred and shunned. All these he must protest against without fear or favour.”

Smooth let it be or rough,

It will be still the best;

Winding or straight, it leads

Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;

I would not, if I might;

Choose Thou for me, my God,

So I shall walk aright.

— by Scottish pastor, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

NECESSARY CHASTISEMENT

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Psalms 89:30-33 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.

“Children of God, you do not like it—it were not a rod if you did—but it is good for you when you come under the fatherly discipline of God. Though He will never take His everlasting love from you, nor suffer His faithfulness to fail, yet, when you transgress, the rod shall be sure to fall upon you, and sometimes its strokes shall come upon you before you transgress, to keep you from sinning!

I often hear of some of God’s dearest servants suffering. I heard of one whom I am sure God loves very much. He is very useful. He spends himself in his Master’s work. He is also very prosperous—God gives to him great wealth, which he discreetly and wisely uses, but he has had a very sharp affliction come upon him, lately, which is enough to break his heart. And when I heard it, I said, “Yes, yes, God loves him. God loves him.”
If you are a child of God, note this Truth of God and accept it with joy—our heavenly Father never pampers His children! We may spoil our girls and boys, but our Father never spoils His children. If He gives you great happiness, great success and makes you useful, He will, every now and then, give you a whipping behind the door.

You think, sometimes, “That man is very happy. He has great blessing resting on his work.” Yes, this man is very happy to tell you that he has not all sweets to drink, to make him sick and ill, but there are bitter tonics, sharp blows of the rod, to keep him right. If we have to bless God more for any one thing than for everything else, it is to thank Him that we have not escaped the rod. Sickness is a choice blessing from God! I cannot measure the unutterable good that comes to us full often in that way—and losses in business, and crosses, and bereavements, and depressions of spirit are all, when we see them in the light eternal, so many Covenant mercies.

The true-born child of God cannot escape the rod and would not if he might. He gets afraid when he does not sometimes feel it. He will not long have to be afraid about it, for it will come in due time.

I think that I hear somebody say, “I do not want that.” No, just so—you want worldly pleasure. Perhaps God will let you have it till you have spent all your substance on it, as the prodigal did—and then you will find that it is all weariness and sorrow—and you will want something better.”

— C H Spurgeon

 

 

ZEAL IN EXPOSING DANGERS FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST AND SOULS

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“To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men’s souls are ensnared”

— George Sayles

Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Psalms 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.