Imagine for a moment that you are a Medical Doctor. A young man comes in to see you one day. He is tall, good looking, athletic and yet he has a problem. He can't quit smoking and has developed a slight irritating cough.
After a series of tests, you advise him that he must give up smoking because there is no doubt that in time, it will be the cause of his death. He assures you that he feels fine, and thanks you for your trouble, but walks out of your office telling you he has no intention of giving up cigarettes. His friends all smoke, and apart from the little cough, he feels great. His father smoked for seventy years, and it never affected him at all he explains, as he waves goodbye.
In the following years and decades, you see him often for various ailments, and each time you remind him that he should quit smoking or he will surely die prematurely. And each time, he smiles broadly, and reassures you that he will live to be an old man. As his Doctor, you are continually frustrated by this young likeable fellow. You have tried every way and every thing you can think of, to alter his self destructive path, but all to no avail. You know he can save himself, even now, but he won't.
Some days you wish you had chosen another profession. You find yourself becoming emotionally involved with your patients and it wears you down. But you keep going, in the hope of at least some of your patients heeding your advice and accepting your help, and as a result, leading happy lives and reaching a fruitful end.
One day an acquaintance of the young man walks into your surgery. You enquire after his smiling friend. He lowers his head and informs you that the young man died recently. Cancer had invaded his lungs just as you had predicted and quickly stolen his life away. His chance had come, and now gone, forever. You try and absorb the news professionally. You express your condolences, but inside, you begin a long weep.
You're tired, and the time comes when retiring is the only way of escaping the burden of responsibilities. So you do, and eventually, peace does preside.
Well............ now you might have some idea of how the biblical "watchmen on the wall" felt. It was their job to pronounce to the people God's coming judgments. No one listened. No one took the warnings seriously. Things were going along just as always. Everyone felt invincible. Why should they listen to these watchmen. They were just cranks. But, judgment did eventually come, and the people were lost. The watchmen were right after all.
Today, there are still many watchmen working for God, trying to warn people about coming judgments on a rebellious world. These watchmen, and watchwomen, spend decade after frustrating decade, shouting a lonely message, becoming more and more saddened and isolated by the indifferent and even mocking response to their words.
Compounding their trials, is the fact that in comparison to Doctors, who are generally highly regarded and respected in the community, watchmen are almost totally spurned by the world at large, ignored by most Christians, and regularly avoided by embarrassed and scornful family members and in-laws. Only when God retires them, do they at last find peace.
So, occasionally, when you are praying to the God of Israel concerning the burdens upon your heart, please ...................
remember the watchmen!