Watchmen

Isaiah 62:6-7: “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest of yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

 

Observation: Isaiah wrote of the future of Jerusalem and of all Israel, but he wrote as well of us who are in Christ and have a glorious future when He has returned to establish His rule and reign upon the earth. The nation will be the envy of all the world, exalted as the center of attention of kings and peoples everywhere. The land will be so illuminated by the light of God that there will no longer be need of sun or moon. It is in the midst of such glory that God said He sets watchmen.

 

Application: Three things are striking about this verse. First, is what it does not say. I have always thought of watchmen as a kind of spiritual security guard. The word does indeed contain the idea of one who sounds the alarm in the face of approaching dangers: of mothers and fathers training children so they might choose safe paths, or of the vigilant patriot shining a lantern from an old church tower. 

 

Yet there is in this verse a second, less-considered dimension to the word. Watchmen are set in place by God to remind Him what He has already spoken, what He has already promised for the people. Watchmen are shown as taking no rest for themselves, and as giving God no rest. This is a beautiful picture of a faithful intercessor, praying well beyond personal comfort until the Master of the house has responded.

 

Finally, I see no end to the role of the watchmen. When I understand that the role is to remind God of His promises, there is an everlasting, unending dimension to the assignment, for His promises are eternal and without end. Considering all this I am struck by how one-dimensional and limited has been my past understanding of my role as a watchman: “Reef dead ahead! Move starboard twenty degrees! Whew! I‘m glad that danger is passed.” 

 

God calls His watchmen to much more. I have an ongoing responsibility to remind Him of all He has promised for those He has placed in my life. To do this requires that I focus first on Him, not on danger, to be so centered on Him that fresh aspects of His divine personality and His limitless commitment to give me more of Himself continually delight me.

 

Prayer: Father, I see how small has been my vision of You, and how expansive are Your promises. Expand my vision, Lord. Let me never be satisfied to merely sound the alarm but to persevere in the much bigger thing You are doing in my heart and in the hearts of those I love.

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