Chapter 21 v.1-10 is a repetition or better put confirmation of the promise given to the captive Jews in Chapters 13 and 14. The promise was simple their oppressors the Babylonians would be overthrown and they would be delivered. As with most all biblical prophecy an exact date and time was not given.
Isaiah chooses a very interesting way of addressing the coming war, instead of relating the account in the first person as events unfolded, he chooses to tells the story in the third person as a Guard or Watchman doing his duty.
God has related to Isaiah the coming invasion and then tells him this v.6:
For thus hath the Lord said unto me, – God has spoken and Isaiah must obey. We all know the consequences of disobedience to God Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Jonah, or Ananias and Sapphira to name a few. For our military, the UCMJ provides for disciplining of military personnel who fail to obey orders.
Go, set a watchman, – This request is simple and worthy, set a guard a watchman to let everyone know when the invaders are near. But not any lackadaisical sentry this one declares himself v.7 a Lion that is someone alert and ready to roar the alarm.
Guards and Watchmen have been a critical part of any defense against aggression and chaos since the beginning of man. We use them in everyday life as crossing guards, police, home security services, airport screening and so much more.
In the military this task, especially in areas of combat and armed aggression is a must. From the beginning of Basic Training Army recruits (used) to be taught their 11 General Orders:
1: You will take charge of this post and all government property in view.
2: You will walk your post in a military manner, always on alert and observing everything that takes place within your sight or hearing.
3: You will report all violations of orders you are instructed to enforce.
4: You will repeat all calls from more posts more distant to the guardhouse than your own.
5: I will quit my post only after I am properly relieved.
6: To receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves you all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and non-commissioned officers of the guard only.
7: You will talk to no one except in the line of duty.
8: You will give an alarm in case of fire or disorder.
9: You will call the Sergeant of the Guard in any case that does not have instructions.
10: You will salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11: You will be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near your post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
Somehow the army now thinks folsk are either too dumb or incapable of that much memory so they have chopped it to three. Other services still have something similar.
let him declare what he seeth. – Like any good guard, sentry or watchman this one is told to yell out as soon as he sees the enemy. In v.9, he does just that calling out all he sees and then closes this section in v.10 with God has said all this to me.
What is it you have need of being on guard for today? Maybe you are not being invaded by a foreign enemy as Babylon was, but one has only to look around at the happenings in America and most other countries to see that Judeo-Christian values are under constant attack. If you do not think you need to be a watchman for you family values and for your own self you are sadly mistaken.
Maybe you are not yet convinced repent and trust Christ as Lord and Savior (I pray that will soon change). If you are ex-military you still have a sworn duty to be on guard against all enemies foreign and domestic. Anyone who would pervert the constitution need be of concern.
Maybe it is just something even simpler, as your heart or mind just do not seem to be in sync all the time. I hate “Flip Wilson” theology, that is folks who put all the blame on Satan and claim the “Devil made me do it”. However there is no denying the fact that is we let our “guard down” Satan will attack and attack in force. Daily we need to post the sentry that protects us from spiritual attacks.
Finally everyone going into battle needs to be Armored up. Today’s modern soldiers are far more prepared ballistically than I was 30 years ago for battle. Yet many are ill prepared for personal battles. That is why the Bible says we must never start the day without the FULL ARMOR of Christ.
Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?
Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Being on Watch?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?