Monthly Archives: January 2013

Watchman…..What of the Night, What of the Night?

Hopefully those of you who have returned to this blog around our kitchen table have poured a fresh cup of coffee or tea and prepared for a talk about my chosen subject. If your appetites were whetted by our introduction, as I know mine was, let’s sit together and learn what the Spirit says to the churches. 
Please stay relaxed with me as we do this…we are not at a church meeting but at my kitchen table. Right now we are watching the beautiful white snow fall and the Grandfather clock is chiming 2 o’clock in the afternoon. 
I will try to keep my mind organized and listen to the Spirit of the Lord by going slow enough with information to give all of us time to think and allow the Lord to burn some of the truth we will be sharing into our spirits and make us stronger and wiser servants of the Most High God. We, the greater Body of Christ. have the technical abilities in this day and age that allow us to meet, share, see one another and enjoy things together around the world in real time. I would never have thought this possible even 10 years ago.  I am excited to see what our Lord will do with this venue. I
For now we are going to spend some time talking about the watchmen.  
  Who are they,  What do they do,  Why are they in place, etc.
    
One of the first things I learned about the watchmen is that they were set in the nation, on the walls as it were, by God the Father.
I find it interesting to know that there was not just one watch man but evidently many watchmen to protect and care for the nation of Israel.
Isa. 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, [which] shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence.
                 The word for silence here is quiet,rest,stillness.
As a newly saved teenager I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do with my life. Most of my friends were being called to be missionaries but I was not, no matter how much I begged the Lord. 
During this time the Lord placed a wonderful friend in my life, who was the daughter of a Nazarene minister. I spent time at her home after school and her mother talked to me a lot and tried to give me guidance. Her attitude of love and care for me along with her natural children and the foster children that she was caring for, planted a seed in my heart.
 She was one of the first watchmen in my life. 
I was exited when eventually the Lord said I was going to be a Pastor’s wife. (He confirmed it with a scripture (Eze. 3:5,6) in my heart that I had never know existed. Well, I was not very versed in scripture then anyway.)The Lord, in HIs wisdom, knew that scripture would be a foundation and strength to me through the years.  
I feel very strongly that if you are a watchman, called to prayer and intercession in the house of the Lord, it is not just for your personal friends and family but for His body.
{Rabbit hole alert}
When I first became a parent-in-law I needed to understand my role according to the Bible. I myself had a wonderful set on parents-in-law who became parents in every sense of the word. I experienced an awesome measure of contentment knowing I was a part of their wonderful family.  
My mother-in-law was a Great Bible Teacher, and imparted both scriptural and natural understanding in my heart. I wanted to emulate her but had to have some understanding from the scripture.
My answer came as I began a study about Womanhood and our role in the family in our church with a group of ladies.I learned that the Lord had ordained parents and parents-in-law to become the guards, the watchmen,  the wall of protection as it were for their families. That brought great joy to my heart to realize that I was not an interloper in the lives of my children but had an important role to play in watching for them.  If you will allow me to put it this way, parents and parents-in-law have been set as watchmen of the Lord on the walls of their families.
My children, especially my sons, always knew that “mom” was praying and seemed to know when something was going on, and if she knew, soon “dad” would know, because she would pray and take it to him for clarification.  Why?  Because he is the head of our house and our spiritual covering and oversight.  Not just because he is our Pastor, but because he is the husband who watches over, loves and protects his household as Christ does the church.
I have spent a lot of time recently reading and studying the phrase in Isaiah 21:11”watchman,what of the night”.  Those of you who know me well, know that the Lord often teases my mind with a word or a phrase and I know there is something in there I need to dig out.  The particular word that got my interest here is the word “what”. I have a strong sense that the Lord will use this study to speak loudly to both my heart and yours.  
Seems very simple and it really is, but intriguing to me. What about what? I can not get away from the sense that although this portion of scripture is historical and gives us insight into what went on at that point in history, I sincerely feel that the Lord is pointing some of us who are reading this to a deeper knowledge of His will for both our lives and the lives of those we are responsible for watching over.   Please allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your heart as He is into mine. We only need to ask in prayer, WHAT Lord, What are you saying to us, to me. He will open it up to us in a more detailed way.
A greater understanding of the message that the Prophet Isaiah was trying to impart in this portion of scripture is gained by reading what was going on before this.  So, I have been doing that and encourage you to do the same as we study this together.
At this time in our lives, as part of the Body of Christ, I really believe the Lord is calling His watchmen to be vigilant and look through and beyond  the circumstances and through the seeming “silence” to see His mighty purposes being fulfilled and the stages being set for His action. We need to be able to speak into the lives of those around us with His direction and Word, not just our thoughts.  We must take all needs to the Lord as though the very lives of those around us depend on it.
Watchmen–
who and what are we to do according to the usage of the word in scripture.
Strongs:#8104  
1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed,2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life,3) to watch for, wait for,5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory),6) to keep (within bounds), restrain,7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow),8) to keep, preserve, protect,9) to keep, reserve
A watchman was one who was given the responsibility of being the eyes and ears of the entire city and nation. They were to warn of someone coming who wanted to do harm. They would also speak into the hearts of those for whom they were responsible. When they saw something important for them to know for both now and for the future, they must give warning. The place of the Prophetic watchman was vital to the well being of the nation and was not taken lightly
.
The cry from the heart of God through the prophet….so intense….so important…a Call to action.  
Isa. 62:10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people;
cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones;
lift up a standard for the people.
This was the admonition to Isaiah: Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth
The setting of this particular portion of scripture is very interesting to me in many ways, not the least of them being the prophecy of destruction in Babylon where many Israelites were living in bondage and which was full of riches. Isaiah was being shown destruction by the Lord. I am intrigued as I read the writings of Bible Scholars about this period of time and look at the Iraq of today and see how many time the Lord gave them a chance to repent but they would not and did not.  This portion of scripture in Isaiah points that out to them through the prophet of God.
      Seir–the principal mountain in Idumea, south of the Dead Sea, in Arabia-Petraea. “He calleth” ought to be rather, “There is a call from Seir.” per Jamieson Fausset & Brown study
 Dumah–a tribe and region of Ishmael in Arabia ( Gen 25:14 1Ch 1:30 ); now called Dumah the Stony, situated on the confines of Arabia and the Syrian desert; a part put for the whole of Edom. VITRINGA thinks “Dumah,” Hebrew, “silence,” is here used for Idumea, to imply that it was soon to be reduced to silence or destruction.  Jameison, Fausset & Brown
I am intrigued both with the thought of silence and in this case “what of the night”.  One of the comments that gave me an “AhhhHaah” moment was the following exchange between the watchman and the seeker.
what of the night–What tidings have you to give as to the state of the night? Rather, “What remains of the night?” How much of it is past? [MAURER]. “Night” means calamity ( Job 35:10 Mic 3:6 ), which, then, in the wars between Egypt and Assyria, pressed sore on Edom; or on Judah (if, as BARNES thinks, the question is asked in mockery of the suffering Jews in Babylon). The repetition of the question marks, in the former view, the anxiety of the Idumeans.
 I love the answer of the watchman…I am a lion. Not roaring but very quiet.  I think there is a lesson for us here. As a Lion he saw everything although he didn’t seem to be aware.  LOL  Stealth, I like that. That is a true prophet and watchman.
A lion–rather, “(The watchman) cried, I am as a lion”; so as is understood ( Isa 62:5 Psa 11:1 ). The point of comparison to “a lion” is in Rev 10:3 , the loudness of the cry. But here it is rather his vigilance. The lion’s eyelids are short, so that, even when asleep, he seems to be on the watch, awake; hence he was painted on doors of temples as the symbol of watchfulness, guarding the place (Hor. Apollo) [HORSLEY].
Here is another great interpretation of this portion of scripture
Matthew Henry
  1. A question put by an Edomite to the watchman. Some one or other called out of Seir, somebody that was more concerned for the public safety and welfare than the rest, who were generally careless and secure. 
As the man of Macedonia, in a vision, desired Paul to come over and help them (Acts 16:9), so this man of Mount Seir, in a vision, desired the prophet to inform and instruct them. He calls not many; it is well there are any, that all are not alike unconcerned about the things that belong to the public peace. Some out of Seir ask advice of God’s prophets, and are willing to be taught, when many of God’s Israel heed nothing. 
The question is serious: What of the night? It is put to a proper person, the watchman, whose office it is to answer such enquiries. He repeats the question, as one in care, as one in earnest, and desirous to have an answer.
Note, (1.) God’s prophets and ministers are appointed to be watchmen, and we are to look upon them as such. They are as watchmen in the city in a time of peace, to see that all be safe, to knock at every door by personal enquiries (“Is it locked? Is the fire safe?’’), to direct those that are at a loss, and check those that are disorderly, Cant. 3:3; 5:7. They are as watchmen in the camp in time of war, Eze. 33:7. They are to take notice of the motions of the enemy and to give notice of them, to make discoveries and then give warning; and in this they must deny themselves.
(2.) It is our duty to enquire of the watchmen, especially to ask again and again, What of the night? for watchmen wake when other sleep. [1.] What time of the night? After a long sleep in sin and security, is it not time to rise, high time to awake out of sleep? Rom. 13:11. We have a great deal of work to do, a long journey to go; is it not time to be stirring? “Watchman, what o’clock is it? After a long dark night is there any hope of the day dawning?’’ [2.] What tidings of the night? What from the night? (so some); “what vision has the prophet had to-night? We are ready to receive it.’’ Or, rather, “What occurs to night? What weather is it? What news?’’ We must expect an alarm, and never be secure. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; we must prepare to receive the alarm, and resolve to keep our ground, and then take the first hint of danger, and to our arms presently, to our spiritual weapons.
  1. The watchman’s answer to this question. The watchman was neither asleep nor dumb; though it was a man of Mount Seir that called to him, he was ready to give him an answer: The morning comes. He answers, 
  1. (1.) By way of prediction: “There comes first a morning of light, and peace, and opportunity; you will enjoy one day of comfort more; but afterwards comes a night of trouble and calamity.’’ Note, In the course of God’s providence it is usual that morning and night are counterchanged and succeed each other. Is it night? Yet the morning comes, and the day-spring knows his place, Ps. 30:5. Is it day? Yet the night comes also. If there be a morning of youth and health, there will come a night of sickness and old age; if a morning of prosperity in the family, in the public, yet we must look for changes. But God usually gives a morning of opportunity before he sends a night of calamity, that his own people may be prepared for the storm and others left inexcusable. 
  2. (2.) By way of excitement: If you will enquire, enquire. Note, It is our wisdom to improve the present morning in preparation for the night that is coming after it. “Enquire, return, come. Be inquisitive, be penitent, be willing and obedient.’’ The manner of expression is very observable, for we are put to our choice what we will do: “If you will enquire, enquire; if not, it is at your peril; you cannot say but you have a fair offer made you.’’
  3. We are also urged to be at a point: “If you will, say so, and do not stand pausing; what you will do do quickly, for it is no time to trifle.’’ Those that return and come to God will find they have a great deal of work to do and but a little time to do it in, and therefore they have need to be busy.
I hope I haven’t overloaded you with all of this information.  Please take time to print these blog pages and spend some time reading and re-reading and praying and meditating on the study for today.  
If you have comments, questions, and/or prayer requests please use the comments box at the bottom of the page and I will get back to you. I am going to make an effort to post every 2 weeks for a while.  I may have Jim Xavier missionary to Japan with the Olson’s, create a Website for us with a few more bells and whistles.
I would encourage you to gather some friends around your kitchen table and share this blog with them and give me some feedback.
The Lord is preparing all of us to continue or begin to be His watchmen.  Watching over His bride as Mordecai did over Esther as she was being prepared for her future.
What kind of watchman am I and what of the night?
Blessings and love to all of you.
Alice

Coffee Break with Alice
Please join me in a time of Fellowship as we are being built up together in the Word and share our needs, victories and ideas as we endeavor to become “workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”.

Preview
Preview

Introduction

Our first blog was a call to the “watchmen.”  Actually it was a question, what of the night?

I have a lot of questions whirling around in my mind because of that scripture.  I want us to spend a little time thinking about this question and coming to further understanding that will help us to be more effective than we have ever been in our personal prayer life and in answering that question.

We have friends who come to visit us from time to time and it seems that the ladies and I always find a lot to talk about while we are fixing meals in my kitchen or sitting and visiting when the men are outside doing something.  During those times we talk about a lot of different things and speak into one another’s lives.  That is what I want these blogs to be like.  A relaxed time of visiting and sharing what we see in the Word and all of us making comments about our thoughts and insights as well.  That way, we can help “build one another up in our most Holy faith”.

There is a tremendous job ahead of us, to say nothing of the  needs our families and friends have now.  We are here for such a time as this.   Now is the time for us to understand and embrace the ministry of a watchman.   But we can not do this all by ourselves. We are only a part of the whole.

I am excited to see how the Lord will lead and what will become of this little blog in the future.  I have so many little notes and thoughts on my computer that I feel are important to where the Lord wants to take me in my further understanding about being effective in the thing the Lord has positioned His church to be that I can hardly stand it.   lol

There is no specific time limit between each blog, but surely I will be able to accomplish more than just 1 every 3rd month.

In the next few days I will try to get some of those thoughts put together in a way that we can begin to answer “what” of the night.

I’m praying for the richest blessings of the Lord on your life and mine.

Lovingly,

Alice