God raises men and women to become His watchman for a season, an appointed time, a specific assignment in their lives. In the Old Testament, the prophets serve as watchmen in addition to their other roles. Some have served a long period, like Samuel, from childhood to old age. Some have appeared for a short time to complete one specific assignment, like Zechariah, who saw and received nine visions and messages from the Lord in one night on February 15, 519BC. In the New Testament, after Jesus came to earth, the first watchman recorded is John the baptist.
One thing that stands out in the following three passages is that God wants a reconciliation between parents and children. When this watchman reads this theme of salvation my heart leaps up. What is more relevant than this goal and provision that God has given in His salvation plan through His Son Jesus? Turning the hearts of parents to their sons and daughters, and turning the hearts of the children back to their fathers and mothers is the main issue today. I cannot understand why the young people today hate their parents (especially their fathers) as if they are their enemies. But I do recall a verse from the warning of Paul in Romans 1 about a group of people who do now want God to be their God:
8 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful;
We thank God that this is not the end of them (those who hate God and their parents). As the prophet-watchmen had declared, God has sent His Son to give salvation and reconciliation between parents and children, fathers and sons, God and His people.
Luke 1:13-17, 74-77 New International Version (NIV)
13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
Acts 2:38-40 New International Version (NIV)
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Malachi 4 New International Version (NIV)
Judgment and Covenant Renewal
4 [a]“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3 Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
Malachi 4:1 In Hebrew texts 4:1-6 is numbered 3:19-24.