“For thus said the Lord unto me: `Go, station the watchman, That which he seeth let him declare.'”(Isa. 21:6 YLT)
If you can get a picture of a city that was in OT times, cities usually had walls that surrounded them, with watchmen on the tops of the walls. They would watch out for invaders, and when they saw them coming for an attack of the city, they would sound the alarm. They usually blowed a horn, and when the citizens of that city heard it blow, they knew an attack was coming. They would then take their positions and get ready for war.
This is a picture of us, the christians. I know that the usual application is preachers, but even laypeople have a way of “sounding the alarm” as they witness to people. But the main idea I want to get across is that the “sound” the horn made was a particular sound. A sound that the inhabitants of that city knew. If another sound was made, they would not know to “man their positions”, and be prepared for the assault from their enemy, and no doubt suffer defeat. Apostle Paul addressed this when he wrote in 1 Cor. 14:7,8…”yet the things without life giving sound — whether pipe or harp — if a difference in the sounds they may not give, how shall be known that which is piped or that which is harped? for if also an uncertain sound a trumpet may give, who shall prepare himself for battle“? Look closely at that which I bolded and italiacized…“who shall prepare himself for battle?” As much as we were to preach, witness, emplore, beg, lost peoples to come to Christ, if God isn’t drawing them, eventhough we’re “sounding the alarm”, we’re making a peculiar sound, a sound they have no understanding of, sounding like barbarians, without any understanding. If the invaders are coming, and the watchmen start playing a flute, the citizens won’t prepare themselves for battle.
I am going to take another angle to this. In Joshua chapter 6, you can see them, the Israelites, as they are being led by Joshua, after Moses had died and God buried him. God told Joshua to circle Jericho once a day for six days, and then on the seventh day, make seven trips around it. As they were circling it, God gave Joshua instruction on what to do….“and Jehovah saith unto Joshua, `See, I have given into thy hand Jericho and its king — mighty ones of valour, and ye have compassed the city — all the men of battle — going round the city once; thus thou dost six days; and seven priests do bear seven trumpets of the jubilee before the ark, and on the seventh day ye compass the city seven times, and the priests blow with the trumpets.” As you can see, there were seven priests blowing seven trumpets and the Ark of the Covenant coming behind them. That’s the way the gospel works. As we preach God’s word, we are blowing the trumpet, blowing the horn sounding the alarm. Now, when God is in the mix, working within one of His sheep not yet in the fold, He causes them to hear the trumpet sounding the alarm, telling them that the enemy is fastly approaching. Jesus Christ is coming right behind the effectual preaching of one of God’s called ministers, much like the Ark was coming right behind the priests blowing their trumpets. Undoubtedly, the watchmen that were looking down from the tops of the walls wondered what was going on. They had no idea what was about to take place. The “sound” the seven trumpets made were peculiar to them. They had no clue that in less than one week, the walls of their city would fall by the hands of God.
I will close this by going back into 1 Cor. 14 where Apostle Paul was talking about speaking in tongues. Now, I am not a believer in speaking in tongues as the pentecostals/charismatics do, but I want to finish this blog post out this way. Whenever we are preaching and/or witnessing to lost people, if God hasn’t acted upon them with His regenerative powers, we are going to sound like a foreigner to them. As it states in 1 Cor. 2:14, “and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness, and he is not able to know [them], because spiritually they are discerned
,and then in 1 Cor. 1:18 Apostle Paul stated, “for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us — those being saved — it is the power of God.” So unrenerate people are unable to truly understand the “sound” the trumpets make, what the preachers are preaching, what the laypeople are saying to them. They need an Interpreter to translate the message for them. This is where the Spirit of God comes in. It takes something much deeper than words to bring life to the dead. It takes an inner working, an effectual calling, calling a sinner out of darkness into His marvellous Light. To bring one from death in the tomb, to life in Christ. To set free that which has been bound. Only God can do this. I will leave you with these verses of scripture…please pay close attention to what is in italics…
“Righteousness and judgment [Are] the fixed place of Thy throne, Kindness and truth go before Thy face. O the happiness of the people knowing the shout, O Jehovah, in the light of Thy face they walk habitually. In Thy name they rejoice all the day, And in Thy righteousness they are exalted.”