Sentry Duty (11/16/13)

Read: Ezekiel 33:1-34:31, Hebrews 13:1-25, Psalm 115:1-18, Proverbs 27:21-22

But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths. (Ezekiel 33:6)


Relate: On March 3, 1918, the New York Times carried an article about 4 men who were sentenced to death for falling asleep on sentry duty during World War 1. Two British soldiers and one Canadian were also killed for the same crime. Perhaps the most famous sentry to fall asleep at his post was William Scott. He, along with his four brothers, was a volunteer who joined the Union Army near the beginning of the Civil War. Shortly after the battle of Bull Run, Scott offered to volunteer for a sick friend to cover sentry duty at a strategic bridge. The thing is, he had just done duty the night before for himself and after spending the day marching, was in no condition to be out there again. Scott was caught sleeping at his post, court marshaled and on September 4 sentenced to be shot at dawn the following Monday.

Reverend Moses Parmalee, a chaplain with the army gathered signatures from 191 of Scott’s fellow soldiers. It was because he was helping a friend, not because he neglected his duty that they wished his pardon. On Sunday evening Parmalee presented this petition to Lincoln. The President wrote a note to General Smith and, according to one version of the story, ordered his personal carriage to take the chaplain back to the front lines.

The next morning William Scott’s brigade was ordered into formation and Scott, bound and blindfolded was brought before them. His crime and an order of his execution was read to the men, then they also heard read Lincoln’s pardon. After believing for the past five days that his life was forfeit, Scott was released.

Relate: We are the watchmen on the wall. As Christians we are aware of the immanent danger to those around us who do not yet know Christ. They are destined for hell. Scott thought he was doing a favor for his friend by taking his watch, but if the enemy army pressed its advantage, many men could have died. He was doing no favors. In the same way, our failure to share the love God has so richly poured out on us is a crime. We do our friends no favors with our silence. It is better that they be offended, and repent than that they skip their way to hell in ignorant bliss. When they die, they will be judged for their sin… but their blood will be on our hands.


God, I repent for my silence. I repent for the attitude that says my good actions are enough. It takes more than being kind and generous and patient. It takes opening my mouth. I have a warning for the world You have ordered me to cry out. Give me courage to shout it.

This is a devotional created by and for Two Rivers Assembly.

12 thoughts on “Sentry Duty (11/16/13)

  1. Oh boy. You just opened a can of worms for me! We’ve been watching the Pike’s Peak Summit. Many of the speakers are presenting information about what’s been taking place behind the scenes in our nation and our world…not good.

    One of the speakers was Jonathan Cohn, a Messianic Jewish Rabbi, and author of Harbinger.

    The book is presented in a fiction format (I believe this format was necessary because people prefer to be entertained, and are less inclined to read a serious book about anything. As a result, it was on the Best Seller List for *months*.), and discusses the government decisions following 9/11.

    Last night we heard an update by the author and his co-laborer. It turns out that the Scripture quoted by key government officials (Isaiah 9:10) was done in places that seem to be significant – and reek of rebellion.

    The walls came down – and we rebuilt. First a hewn stone was placed at Ground Zero; now a building is there. On the topmost beam of the new structure, this verse was written by our president.

    The tree fell – and was replaced. That replacement is withering. No one can explain why. It’s staked and tied in place; many of its now-dead branches have been cut off.

    Why no one bothered to read the verses around this chosen one is beyond me. I wonder if they would have proclaimed it so proudly if they had.

    Those who read the One Year Bible will read these verses every year on 9/11, for that is where they fall in the daily readings. The Psalm for that day is the 55th one. The 9th and 11th verses are of interest: Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city…Destruction is in its midst…” (I have one of these Bibles and checked it out. This is true…and the Bible was published in the 80s.)

    (Abbreviated like this it sounds like a madman’s rantings. Read the book – or watch the DVD – before deciding for yourself, please.)


    If what this fellow is presenting is indeed true, as a nation we are in big trouble, and we can expect financial collapse in 2015 if we do not repent.

    Although what he is saying sounds like replacement theology (from a Jewish Rabbi?? Hardly!), it is not. The circumstances here are similar to those of Israel. Our God does not change.

    The verse you opened with (Ezekiel 33:6) is one that has been running through my mind. In fact, I told my husband last night that we haven’t been entrusted with this (and the other information) just to add to our knowledge. God says that knowledge puffs up, so to do so would not be His style. Then I asked him what he thought our responsibility is in this matter.

    This morning, I decided to read through the e-mailed post updates which I receive from many folks…and here you are.

    Pray for me as I seek the Lord concerning all He has been showing us, and what He would have us to do with this information. One thing I know for sure is to do all I can to strengthen the brethren so they can stand during the times that are on our horizon.

    In His Majesty’s service,
    Praising Jesus who warns us of His upcoming actions.

    • lessonsbyheart – I seriously doubt BJ has much interest in abridging your comment.

      I heard government officials use Isaiah 9:10. These people show how the Bible mirrors who we are. When I read Ecclesiastes, I got much of it backwards in meaning. I did not realize my foolishness until I read a good commentary. I had seen in the Bible what I wanted to see. It took some effort to realized what that said about it.

      We live in a nation of Christians who have not even been watching out for themselves. Because many who should know better fear hurting anyone’s feelings, too few say anything about it. And those who did speak up? Most of us refused to listen. Just as Scott had yet to take the Civil War seriously enough, we have not yet taken spiritual warfare seriously enough.

      Scott thought he was doing a favor for his friend by taking his watch, but if the enemy army pressed its advantage, many men could have died. He was doing no favors.

      If Scott had been caught sleeping a few years into the Civil War, there would have been no petition.

      Because of our Christian heritage, we have seen too little evidence of evil within America. Our forebears fought that well, but their legacy is slowly vanishing. So as this generation’s watchmen and watchwomen, we have two tasks before us. We must warn of the dangers of Hell, and we must teach our fellow citizens how to put on the full armor of God.

      Great post!

      • Thank you for taking the time to give a thoughtful reply.

        From time to time the Lord draws my attention back to the intensity of the battle at hand, This is one of those times. Things are far more serious – on every front – than most are aware.If it weren’t for the Lord, I’d be really freaked out!

        Yes, earth is for armor. The time for robes comes once we’re safely Home.

        To arms!


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