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Keeping an Eye on Things
The Sons of Issachar
1 Chronicles 12:32a
from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do
In the military campaign to turn Saul’s kingdom over to David, it seems that the sons of Issachar were the advisors or wise men in the ranks. The majority of the others are warriors.
Ezekiel’s Call to be a Watchman
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ 7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.
The ministry of the watchman is not very rewarding because you want to be wrong and you are not very popular because your message is “negative”. However, sounding the alarm is your responsibility and if you fail in that responsibility you will be held liable before God for not raising your voice. It’s not a ministry for those who want to be popular.
Instructions from Jesus
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
In some ways I believe interpreting the signs of the times is very spiritual because it would seem that very few people are doing it but in other ways this activity is rooted in a form of wisdom that I believe is readily available to anyone that desires to have it.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
This word from Jesus in the context of the Pharisees demanding a sign, is clearly an indictment against being unable to interpret the signs of the times. Being unable to know what the future holds based on basic facts is something that Jesus expects us to be able to do. In order to do this, our heads must be removed from the proverbial sand.
It’s important to understand that not everyone thinks like you do. Some do have wicked agendas they are attempting to accomplish. It’s important to listen to the words of people and especially watch what they do.
What you are doing speaks so loudly I can hardly hear what you are saying.
"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement.
In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered "palliative." Juvenal said it was a simplistic motivation of common people. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man.
Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C. to win the votes of these new citizens: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses", would be the most effective way to rise to power.
I agree I’d rather watch the final 4 for 2 hours than c-span for 2 hours but you and I as American Christians have a responsibility to ourselves, children, and fellow man to keep an eye on things in our world. Jesus said so.
Media – Most media outlets are heavily funded. One has to remember that it’s unwise to bite the hand that feeds you so understanding the funding sources is something any good watchman should consider before jumping on any idea as fact. The motive of the “trumpet blower” should be factored into any information one receives.
It’s been my experience that people who’ve been abused or neglected by authority figures during formative years of life tend to see authority figures in a different light than those who have not been through these experiences. Not to say they are right or wrong due to these experiences but it should be factored in when trying to understand the signs of the times.
Chicken Little called for calamity with the phrase, “The sky is falling” and at times we may run into people who are “Chicken Little's”. Sorting through information in this information age while removing personal pre-dispositions can be difficult. Sometimes if we look hard enough we can find what we’re looking for. Even if it’s really not there or only there in a very small way.
One question a watchman has to ask themselves is, “Who do I trust?” and why.
One thing to consider is a “watchman” who is simply capitalizing on the fears of people. There will be a story on radiation falling on America from a nuclear attack by the North Koreans and then followed up by the sale of overly priced iodine tablets that reduce your chances of getting radiation sickness should the attack actually happen.
Is the attack possible? Sure. Is it likely? I don’t know. What’s the cost of Iodine tablets off the crony watchman’s website? Is it fair market price? Is the cost worth the protection it potentially could give you?
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
Jubilee Family Church45 Thunderbird Dr. Batesville, AR 72501 (870) 793-9124