What is a Watchman?

A Prayer Watchman is anointed to see God’s hand at work and to partner in His handiwork.”- Prayer Watchman by Mark Copeland

Watch = to keep vigil as a devotional exercise.; to be awake during the night

Archaic definition = A watchman or body of watchmen formerly assigned to patrol
the streets of a town at night, announce the hours, act as police.

Watchman = A person who keeps watch; guard

In ancient times, cities were at risk from various attacks and enemies. Citizens had to be on watch and alerted to threats from animals, robbers and thieves, messengers from other kingdoms, and armies attempting to overthrow a city to gain territory. One line of defense against the enemy was the massive walls built to protect the city. The walls were very tall and wide. The walls described in the Bible and archeologist findings support that the walls surrounding the city of Jericho, for example, were anywhere from 20-26 feet high and 6 feet thick. This does not include the 12-foot high wall that had to be overcome before encountering the interior wall.

The walls included towers for the people appointed as Watchmen to have a vantage point to keep guard and alert the citizens of a potential threat. So we see this as an indication that the posture of a Watchman is one at the highest point of the city with a view that no other citizen of the city had.

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Photo by Megan Sanford on Unsplash

A Watchman was the first line of defense in protecting and overseeing a city. Watchmen were also used to oversee the crops and vineyards, as well as livestock and flocks to guard against robbers, thieves, and predators. A Watchman had to possess various skills and characteristics to be effective and trusted. The descriptions of the responsibilities of a Watchman in the Bible represent the responsibilities of a spiritual Watchman today. The role of a Watchman is outlined in various places in scripture and will be discussed in upcoming posts to provide more clarity.

  • A Watchman had to be able to focus and remain vigilant, not easily distracted. (Matthew 25:13)
  • He had to be awake and alert, even when fatigued; even when others were celebrating or resting. (Isaiah 21:8)
  • He had to be able to see and discern a threat at great distances, and many times, in the dark of night. (2 Kings 9:20)
  • A Watchman had to be able to endure times of rejection, isolation, and loneliness to carry out his assignment. (Jeremiah 15:17)
  • He had to be trustworthy so that when he perceived a threat and warned the king, swift action would be taken without explanation or justification. (Jeremiah 12:3)
  • A Watchman must remain humble as the Lord give revelation and insight, the Watchman must use wisdom to intercede and speak, for it is by God’s grace that we receive revelation and knowledge. (2 Corinthians 12:7)
  • A Watchman must be obedient to speak what he sees. (Ezekiel 3:17-21)

This sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? I believe that in Biblical times, a Watchman had to be trained and conditioned for years before he was ready to serve a watch alone. Similarly, we are trained in the spirit to discern threats and dangers to the House in which we serve long before we are set as a Watchman in a house. Embrace the instruction, correction, and training, for in this is growth and maturity.

 

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