The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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      In ancient Israel, watchmen were appointed to stand on the city wall or on a tower as sentinels who protected the city by looking out for possible physical threats and warning the people of potential danger (Isaiah 21:6-7; 2 Kings 9:17).  Watchmen also served as protectors of farms and field by standing in watchtowers and keeping watch for thieves and others who might threaten the crop or the laborers (Matthew 21:3). Failure by the watchmen to be attentive to their task of keeping watch and reporting danger left the community vulnerable to attack and demise.     
      In a spiritual sense, prophets had the responsibility not only of exhorting the people to hear and heed the instructions of the Lord, but also to issue a warning regarding the consequences of disobedience (Ezekiel 22:2-5). The Lord held spiritual watchmen accountable for the faithful discharge of their duty (Ezekiel 33:6-9).
      Watchmen are needed today who will serve as protectors of families, churches, communities, and countries. Protecting men are needed who will Stay Alert to the Enemy. Because the enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion, watchmen must stay alert (1 Peter 5:8) both day and night to meet the threat (Nehemiah 4:9).       
      Men are needed who are strong in the Lord, who are fully clad with the armor of the Lord, and who are “able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11). The enemy is a “liar and the father of lies” (Matthew 8:44) who not only seeks to sift us like wheat (Luke 22:31-34) but who also conspires and confuses through Doubt [“Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1)], through Desires [(James 1:14); Sexual (1 Cor.7:2-5; Galatians 5:19, etc.) and Material (1 John 2:15-16)], through Deceit and false Doctrine (Ephesians 4:14, Matthew 7:15), Discontentment (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Philippians 4:11-12);and Disunity within the church and among believers (Romans 16:17). 
      Watchmen are needed today who will Sound the Alarm to Everyone. The Old Testament watchman on the wall used a trumpet to sound the alarm regarding the enemy’s approach. Today, Christian watchmen must issue warnings to everyone within their sphere of influence and beyond concerning the ongoing struggle “against the rulers, the principalities, the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Such warnings can be issued through both example and by explanation. In other words, men are needed who will sound the alarm both visibly and verbally regarding the encroachment of the enemy even as they issue warnings concerning following the path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).       
      Through explanation, Christian men are needed to “teach them to observe whatsoever I have commanded…” (Matthew 28). In addition, the example of Christian watchmen who “lives a life (walks a walk) worthy of the calling you have received” and who are “completely humble and gentle…patient” (and willing to) “bear one another’s burdens” (Ephesians 4:1-2) is much needed in our families, churches, communities, and country. Some lessons are taught while others are “caught” through actions that  “speak louder than words.” Thus, both one’s explanation and example are powerful and effective.
      Watchmen are needed today whose involvement, influence, intervention, and intercession help to Stymie the Advancement of Evil. By being salt and light, Christian men can offer protection to their family, in their church, for their community by providing a measure of flavor to a tasteless society and by pushing back the darkness. By “presenting themselves holy and acceptable to God,” Christian men are well-postured to stand in the gap that is prevalent in every wall of our society.     
      Moses stood in the gap and interceded on behalf of Israel following the construction and worship of the golden calf (Psalm 106:23). Likewise, Christian men must stand on the wall and in the gap to pray without ceasing for unsaved souls, unrepentant sinners, and unengaged saints. Christian men can help stymie the advancement of evil through their priorities evidenced by actions, attitudes, and activities. Whether by their influence on family, involvement at church, or interaction within the community, Christian men must stand in the gap to fill the breach in each of these institutions.
      Further, Christian men are needed to stand in the gap with courage, compassion and concern by offering provisions to support the helpless and strengthen the hopeless (Exodus 22:22; Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27; Psalm 82:3; Deuteronomy 24:19; Hebrews 13:1-3; etc.). Paul instructed young Timothy to “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth…(but)…command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-18). In short, watchmen can help stymie the advancement of evil through their prayers, priorities, and provisions.     
      Beyond the responsibility of being watchful for threats and issuing the appropriate warning, watchmen on the wall waited on and announced the dawning of a new day (Isaiah 21:11-12; Psalm 130:6). Protecting men wait upon the Lord and the fresh opportunities and outcomes that he provides. In the process of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah stationed watchmen at every low point (gap) or exposed place in the wall where the opposition might attempt to enter. He then encouraged the people with “Don’t be afraid…remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…” (4:13-14). God frustrated the plot of Nehemiah’s enemies (v. 15).
      Protecting men “wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14) with full confidence in him to help navigate the proper course in the midst of life’s challenges and circumstances (Proverbs 3:5-6; Lamentations 3:22-24; Isaiah 43:18-19). Waiting upon the Lord renews one’s strength while also producing blessings and joy (Isaiah 40:31; 30:18; Psalm 30:5). Why? Because not only is God our shield, fortress, rock, and refuge (Psalm 18), but he also is faithful to strengthen and protect us from the attacks of the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 4:18). Why? Because “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 3:31) ultimately the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15)!

Dear Heavenly Father, May more men stand up and serve as watchmen on the walls of the home, the church, and in communities throughout our land. May such men stand in the gap as they reflect the Golden Rule in their daily lives. May the words of their mouths and the meditations of their hearts be pleasing unto you and may these watchmen trust in you wholeheartedly. May I be one of these men. Amen.