Three thousand years ago, Solomon the son of David proclaimed, “Unless YHVH builds a house, they who build it labor in vain. Unless YHVH guards a city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). The Hebrew word for watchmen used in this context is shomrim (singular shomer), meaning ‘one who guards over something or someone.’
The God of Jacob speaks of the nation of Israel as a prophetic watchman: “Ephraim was a watchman with my God, a prophet” (Hosea 9:8). The Jewish people are called to be a nation who is to speak forth the oracles and counsel of God to a watching world: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much in every way: chiefly, because unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3 :1-2).
God calls a prophetic company of watchmen and intercessors from both the Jewish people and all who follow the God of Israel, to watch regarding the dangers coming against Zion, and to call out to YHVH, entreating Him to fulfill His good word – His prophetic promises and calling – over the sons and daughters of Jacob: “On your walls, Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen. All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who profess YHVH, take no rest for yourselves, and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem an object of praise on the earth!” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
A military watcher on a high tower
On October 7, a central part of the jihadi attack by the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group Hamas involved the blinding of the tatzpitanaiyot, the ‘tower watchwomen.’ Terrorists floated in silently on para-gliders, manually dropping small bombs on the IDF guard towers in a synchronized attack ‘all along the watchtower’ line of defenses. With the Israeli military’s eyes blinded, the murderous wave of jihadi rapists, torturers, murderers and kidnappers faced no resistance as they broke into Jewish kibbutzim and towns on their Islamist pogrom. Most of the valiant young women of the IDF tatzpitanaiyot were brutally massacred or kidnapped in short order that October 7. Some are still captives of Hamas in Gaza, praying for deliverance.
Ezekiel refers to the tzofeh (the same Hebrew root as used in tatzpitanaiyot above), a military watchman or watchwoman – the prophetic seer who beholds the threat to Israel’s security, comprehends from God what it means and how it is to be blocked:
- Now the word of YHVH came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the horn and warns the people, then someone who hears the sound of the horn but does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the horn but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the horn and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away for his wrongdoing; but I will require his blood from the watchman’s hand.’ “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them a warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will certainly die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked about his way, that wicked person shall die for his wrongdoing, but I will require his blood from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die for his wrongdoing, but you have saved your life (Ezekiel 33:1-9; see also Ezekiel 3:16-19)
What can be learned from this divine calling to be watchmen and watchwomen?
- Though the focus of most people active in what is today called ‘the prophetic movement’ is on personal prophecies of encouragement, warning or calls to repentance, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Hosea and Solomon have a more national ministry in mind in the above-quoted passages – one that concerns the protection and prophetic destiny of the Jewish people and their land.
Who sees the sword coming upon the Land?
The criminal justice editor of the New York Post, an award-winning investigative journalist named Murray Weiss, penned a sobering book ‘The Man Who Warned America,’ about John O’Neill, an FBI counter-terrorism expert who pursued Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qa’eda jihadi terrorist threats to America starting in 1995. He functioned as an unappreciated and ignored watchman, as described in the ‘Frontline’ documentary. He died at the World Trade Center on 9/11, rescuing victims caught in the collapse of the Twin Towers. O’Neill saw the sword coming but his watchman-like warning was dismissed and disregarded.
Other watchmen and watchwomen have been stridently warning all who would hear regarding threats to the Jewish people’s security and survival. They include:
John Loftus – former prosecutor with the U.S. Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit. His classic on current geopolitical Western threats to Israel and the Jewish people is a must-read in understanding the ‘behind-the-scenes’ regarding Israel today: ‘The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People’ (co-authored with Mark Aarons, an Australian award-winning investigative reporter).
Colonel Richard Kemp – former British commander in NATO in both Afghan, European and Northern Irish theaters of battle. His no-nonsense professional analyses of Middle East events and the military and propagandistic challenges from Islamist groups can be found on Google and in world media on a regular basis.
General Moshe Ya’alon – former commander of Sayeret Matkal, former IDF OC of AMAN and Chief of General Staff and Minister of Defense, has in the past been a watchman concerning the long-term threat of radical jihadi Islam.
Lt.-Colonel Dr. Mordechai Kedar – (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan University) served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence (AMAN) specializing in Syria, Arab political discourse and mass media, Islamic groups, and Israeli Arabs. He is a world-recognized expert on Palestinians, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups. His analyses and warnings regarding jihadi, Palestinian and Iranian agendas have been prescient and prophetic over the years.
MEMRI – Middle East Media Research Institute, founded by former IDF intelligence AMAN expert Yigal Carmon. Source documents from the Arabic and Persian-speaking worlds are presented by them, casting needful light on the dark corners of jihadi realities, including Palestinian doublespeak. As well, MEMERI provides up-to-the-minute access to current Muslim and Arab perspectives.
Caroline Glick – Israeli-American conservative journalist and author. Named the most prominent woman in a 2003 Maariv poll, Glick is a prolific analyst of fast-breaking Middle Eastern developments, presenting cutting-edge perspectives and background on developing threats to the Jewish state.
These are some voices of watchmen and women whose goals dovetail with those who intercede for the Jewish people and who desire to defend and rescue the sons and daughters of Jacob from harm and malevolence. They are a helpful resource for those who are looking for perspective and nuance here.
Who will win the 1948, 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars?
The battles waged against Israel in these three above-listed wars have not ended. They are continuing on through the Islamic world’s relentless pressure on the Jewish state – through military, terrorist and political attacks. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s secretly stated US policy to shrink Israel into a weak Middle Eastern pushover state fits in well with this continuing Arab jihad against the Jews. The PLO and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps out of Tehran – all press forward in jihadi preparation and activity, anxiously looking for the day when they will be able to slaughter and exterminate the Jewish state and its people, in accordance with classic Islamist teaching, as found in the Hamas Charter, article #7, quoting from the Islamic Hadith: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
- Though the Western world may see these events as bumps in the road of the Peace process, the Islamic world begs to differ. Watchmen and watchwomen need to watch, guard and shout out the danger – so that all who love Zion can remain on guard and ready both to pray and to defend the Jewish people in their hour of need.
Two closing thoughts: The US administration just secretly signed a new ten-year agreement with Qatar (the main bankroller of Hamas and Islamic Jihad) to continue its military connections and support, with emphasis on maintaining its largest air base in the Middle East al-Udeid, located in Qatar.
Hamas’ number two terrorist Saleh al-Arouri was assassinated on Tuesday, January 4, 2024 in the center of Hezbollah’s Beirut neighborhood of Dahiyeh, presumably by Israel. Al-Arouri had recently traveled to Doha, Qatar, to Istanbul, Turkey and to Cairo, Egypt with impunity. He met his end in Lebanon, in an area controlled by the Shi’ite terror group Hezbollah (which is itself under Iranian patronage and control).
These two salient points underscore the pressing need for watchmen and watchwomen to consider how the threat to Jews and Israelis is openly tolerated and barely concealed, even by POTUS Joseph Biden who has designated “the State of Qatar as a major Non-NATO Ally of the United States.”
Also, FATAH (the main contingent of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority) issued a public condemnation of al-Arouri’s assassination in its WAFA news services, calling him “a patriotic Palestinian . . . a fighter, a prisoner, a liberator and a martyr . . . The martyrdom of Sheikh al-Arouri touched the feelings of every Palestinian wherever he may be . . . The ‘Fatah’ movement considered that Wednesday [January 3] is a day of a general and comprehensive strike for all aspects of life to denounce the crime and mourn the souls of the martyrs of the assassination.”
How should we then pray?
- Pray for a revelation to intercessors across the globe about how to pray regarding these ‘swords’ coming upon the Land
- Pray for a biblically sound prophetic ministry to be restored to the leaders of Israel, and that the world-wide body of Messiah be moved by the Holy Spirit to focus with intercessory intensity on these prayer needs as we progress into the flowering of World War III
- Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 136 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP/PLO. Some hostages are being tortured, raped and starved (this based on testimonies of recently released hostages). Hamas is holding onto many corpses as well for bargaining power
- Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be finally shattered and all chains broken off the Palestinians living there, and for Iran’s role in jihadi deception, dissimulation and anti-Semitism to be uncovered and rejected by world leaders
- Pray for justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies for Israel’s leadership in utterly destroying the jihadi threat in all of its aspects, and for minimal loss of life on Israel’s side and for those Gazans who are truly innocent
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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