1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1–5, NKJV)
Paul was about to charge Timothy before God and Christ to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:1). He needed to know that difficult, stressful times were ahead (2 Tim. 4:5). He would have to recognize those who were dangerous and “turn away” from them (v. 5). So do we. These perils present us with decision points when we must choose to be faithful to Jesus and accept suffering for the sake of righteousness instead of yielding to the protection of compromise with error and evil. We should observe that Christians who maintain their faith in the Lord, their love for His truth, and their devotion to Christ above all are not the culprits. They are not responsible for the times of peril. Those who love themselves, money, and sinful pleasures apply and pressure Christians to deny their faith. They are proud and boastful, disrespectful to authority, unthankful, unholy, lacking the love and self-control to be kind and forgiving toward others. They are brutal and arrogant. Some even appear to be pious as they defame and blasphemy (v. 5). They are not. We live in difficult times, too. Abhor evil and love good even when peril comes (Rom. 12:9). Take heart and overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21). We are more than conquerors in Christ (Rom. 8:37).
9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. (Isaiah 56:9–10, NKJV)
A watchdog that cannot bark is not a good watchdog. When the devouring beasts approach the sheep, the watchdog must be able to see the danger and bark a warning to prevent the sheep from being devoured. A blind watchman cannot successfully fulfill his job. Watchmen who do not warn of spiritual danger, are blind. This was a real problem in ancient Israel; the watchmen were blinded by ignorance, and silent in the face of danger. They loved to comfort themselves, and were not ready and watchful to warn of the spiritual dangers of idolatry and immorality. In our time, God has put watchmen on the walls of Zion (pastors, evangelists, and every Christian). God’s watchmen must be vigilant to warn of spiritual danger. When they refuse to do so, fearful of jeopardizing their personal comfort, they are like Israel’s blind watchmen. They have become “dumb dogs.” The church is exposed to spiritual dangers when her watchmen do not “bark” and warn of the enemy’s approach (1 Peter 5:8). Sound the warnings against worldliness, false teaching and spiritual complacency. Be God’s watchman; not a dumb dog.
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, (Isaiah 62:6, NKJV)
Jehovah’s prophet, Isaiah, speaks of the heavenly Jerusalem, God’s people under the new covenant of Christ (Galatians 4:24-26; Hebrews 12:22). This is a prophetic reference to the church of Christ. God is pictured giving protective watch care over His people. Just as ancient cities had watchmen on their walls to warn of approaching danger, the Lord God has equipped His church with watchmen, who watch for our souls. Elders in every church “watch out for your souls” (Hebrews 13:17). Gospel preachers are to be “watchful in all things” (2 Timothy 4:5). Each Christian is to “watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). Christians watch for spiritual danger to themselves, and to their brethren. What a blessing it is to be warned of spiritual danger! God’s watchmen “never hold their peace” as they speak of the Lord and His salvation. God has placed on the walls of Zion. Instead of refusing the watchman’s warnings of sin, hear and heed the warnings given from the Lord. To do so is to accept God’s protection of your soul.