Watchman, What of the Night
By G.T. Haywood
Written August, 1927
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other grounds are sinking sand.
The words were drawn from the text, “He that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them is like unto the man that build this house up on the Rock.” I have fastened my faith on the word of God. All other things “shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away,” saith the Lord. The word of God remains the same. The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God shall back up every word He has spoken. There is no such thing as God’s word ever failing. It is impossible for God to lie. He cannot lie. The strength of Israel will not lie. If God will not lie, there is no reason why we should not give ear to His command. He knows what is best for us. One man wrote a song:
It may be the best for me,
The Lord knows the way
And I will obey,
It may be the best for me.
Whatever God has commanded us, there is a blessing in it for us. The blessing is there if you will be thankful. If we are faithful over a few things, he will make us ruler over many. If we do well with small things, He will trust us with the larger ones. He is trying us on little things first. Despise not the day of small things. Nothing springs suddenly out maturity, but takes time to reach its full growth. Thus it is with our faith and confidence in the Lord. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. As the Word of God increases, so does your faith as you hear it.
The Word of the Lord tells us that God has set watchmen on the walls for the purpose of carrying out some aim or desire. God never does a thing without having a purpose in it. He never wastes a word or neither does He draw a needless plan. There was a purpose in God’s plan, when He placed watchmen upon the walls.
And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the Word of the Lord came unto me saying, “Son of Man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning for me.” “Exek. 3:16-17. God wanted him to know clearly that he had made him to be a watchman unto the house of Israel. Everybody cannot see afar off; all men do not have a clear vision so God has to get men that are far-sighted, that can see things far off. Neither can all men see alike. Eve could not see as far as Adam. Cain could not see as far as Able. The false prophets before the flood could not see as far as Noah, so the people continued having a good time. Noah could see farther then the people. When Noah prophesied, they though he was wrong, but Noah had a vision of God. Enoch also had a wonderful vision. He looked beyond this day in which we are living. He saw the Lord coming with ten thousand of His saints. He had a wonderful vision. He was the seventh generation from Adam and could see far down the line. God made him a watchman to that generation.
They put watchmen upon the wall to watch for the welfare of the people. The judgments of God are jus the same whether they give heed or not; they come just the same. If he makes a watchman, He will give him a vision. It is best to obey and listen to God, for He has no time to waste, or fool away. “Give them warning from my word.” In the days of Ezekiel, the cities were all walled in. In those days, they needed watchmen. They needed men to warn the simple of treachery, not only from the hatred of men, but from the wild beasts that would destroy them. The towers were high so that they could see all manner of evil afar off and therefore forewarn the people.
When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speaketh to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require and thine hand. Tell the wicked death is on his trail. Adam warned his wife, Eve, the day thou eatest thereof, you shall die, but she could not see it just because somebody disputed God. God is sending out warning today. He shall surely died, but somebody comes along and disputes you. You shall not surely die. God has spoken, The wages of sin is death. I told you to tell him and to gibe him warning to save his life. His blood shall be required at your hands. If a man is called to be a watchman, you had better tell men of God’s ways. He told Isaiah to cry aloud and spare not and show the people their sins. People do not like for you to pry too much into their private life. They like to keep them covered up. A watchman speaks not his own words but he speaks the words of God. God knows just what is in a man’s heart. He knows all his secrets; nothing is hid from God’s eyes. The eyes of the Lord searcheth the heart and know what is in man. That is why some people do not like a fiery meeting, it makes them uneasy. God can find a man, it matters not where he is, even if he is at home. He can speak words that he has never heard. The word of God will always stick by you. It will give you no rest, because it is the word of the Lord. A watchman’s duty is to speak the word of the Lord.
The Lord said, “Take no thought what you shall speak, for in that hour it shall be given you what you should speak.” As a rule, the people have heard so much preaching that no has no life in it, that they imagine everybody is lying. But God says, “My words are spirit and they are life,” that is if God’s words go forth they mean life or death. Some men die suddenly after hearing the word of God because they will not give heed to God’s warning. God never cut a man of without giving him a warning. After God speaks and you fail to turn, “Cut it down.” Someone said, “Do not cut it down yet. Give it another chance to grow.” After He gives you a chance, He will cut you down if you do not do His will. These are days when men ought to give heed to the words of God. If you warn the wicked and he will not give heed, he will die in his sins. If he gives heed, he has saved his soul. The watchman will not be guilty, for he has told him that God has said. When the righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he is like a stumbling block before he dies.
The sermon “Watchman, What of the Night” by G.T. Haywood was taken from the book The Lost Works of Bishop G.T. Haywood: Unpublished Anthologies from Bishop Haywood’s Early Years, written by J. Laverne Tyson, Volume 1, 1914-1926.