“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” (Habakkuk 2:1)
The watchman’s job was vital. They were the first, and often last, line of defense. An approaching army left residents of an ancient city precious little time to either escape or prepare for battle. Everyone’s life depended on the alert watchman as he gazed into the horizon for the earliest possible glimpse of coming danger. It was critical that the people be warned as soon as possible to what was coming.
As a Christian, God places us as a watchman for ourselves, our family, our friends, and our church family. It is absolutely essential that we be attentive to what God is saying. It may be that a friend is having a difficult time, and needs a fresh word from God. As you study your Bible, God may choose to give you words of encouragement to share with that friend. It may be, too, that as our children, parents, or other family members face difficult challenges, God will speak to you as you pray and reveal the unique way that only you can help them. If you are spiritually alert and vigilant, you may receive a warning from God that deals with specific dangers and crises that those around you are facing.
The point is clear: stay on the wall, keep a weather eye on the horizon, and be ready to act when God gives you the command!
If we’re careless, on the other hand, our family may be struggling, but the answers that God has for them will go unheard. If we are unmindful of God’s message, those around us may miss the encouraging promise from God that He wanted to share through us. Ezekiel tells us that God holds His watchmen accountable for their diligence. We need to strive to be attentive to every word that comes to us from God. Our diligence will benefit us, and those around us, as we listen carefully and respond to God’s warnings and follow His commands.