“Therefore my loins are filled with pain; pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor. I was distressed when I heard it; I was dismayed when I saw it. My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me; the night for which I longed He turned into fear for me.”
Isaiah faced a season of life that filled him with pain, distress, fear and sleepless nights. This condition was brought on by the events that were taking place on the world stage. The Assyrians were mounting their forces and attempting to expand their nation into a world empire. They were known to be a particularly violent people who showed no mercy to their victims. As Isaiah heard reports of the nation’s around Judah falling victim to Assyria, he was filled with dread. This is not an uncommon experience. Watching reports of what is happening today on the national and international stage, will fill most of us with worry or perhaps even panic. While we can do very little about what is happening, we are in control of how we will respond. I think there are a few lessons we can learn from the prophet.
Isaiah called for a watchman to be set at his post. A watchman’s job was to keep his eyes on the horizon and report any and all activity, as a form of warning for the city. Ezekiel compared the role of the believer to that of a watchman, explaining that it was our job to warn the wicked of coming judgment, as a way to lead them to the Lord.
Instead of allowing the nightly news to fill us with dread, fear, and worry, we should use each report as catalyst to remind us of the need to proclaim the hope of the Gospel. Let’s be watchmen, standing on the walls and declaring to all who will listen, that Jesus loves them and desires to set them free from sin and death.
1 Chronicles 16:23
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.”
Over the years, I have met Christians who seem crippled by uncertainty. They struggle with every decision they make, because they don’t seem to be able to determine God’s will. It is true God has a perfect plan for our lives, and to understand it, we must get alone with Him, and listen to His still small voice. But it is equally true, God has already laid out much of His will for us in the pages of His Word. In the text before us, we learn what we should be doing with our mouths.
First, we should be singing. Privately and publicly, at home and in church, our mouths should be expressing praise to God. This praise will serve at least three vital purposes in our lives. One, It will draw us closer to God. Praise is like a gateway into the throne room of heaven. The Psalmist declared we should walk through the courts with praise. Second, praise will increase our confidence in God. Too often, we magnify our problems while neglecting to magnify the Lord. The more we focus on God, the easier it will be to handle the situations of life. Third, praise is a marvelous witnessing tool. I can remember my first encounter with Christians and being amazed by the joy they expressed as they worshipped the Lord.
David gives us a second charge. We are to use our lips not only to praise God, but also to declare the good news of salvation, every day. It is the will of God that we tell others about Christ. There are many different ways to share the message of salvation. We can straight-up share the simple message of salvation with them, and invite them to receive Christ. We can invite someone to join us at church. We can even invite them to a meal afterwards, and discuss what they just heard. We can have someone over for a meal or take them to coffee, and ask them what they think about Christ; giving ample time to carefully answer any questions they have. We can pass on copies of a Bible study, or invite them to tune into an online message. The opportunities to proclaim the good news of salvation are endless, the only question is are we taking advantage of them.
Take a moment to consider, when was the last time you declared the good news of salvation with someone? Facebook and twitter are wonderful tools, but they don’t replace the need for one-on-one conversations with others. Take a moment now to pray for someone who you will invite to church, or to sit and discuss the way of salvation with this week.