He Declares His Task
The appellation ‘Watchman’ designates his calling. This is no position for the secret disciple, for he makes a sniper’s dream come true. He stands in the forefront of danger for his fellows’ sake, stands in supreme display against the arrows of adversity, and takes the brunt of the first fight. When Christ walked this earth, His Church was but twelve men and since that time a few have enlisted to sickle the harvest. Although the earth is God’s ‘footstool’ it is also the place of open rebellion and the catch pit of Christian service. He who stands to tell the sweetness of redeeming grace will find the bitterness of sin a constant source of trial. The Watchman speaks aloud to that vast, heedless throng that hurtles through life from crisis to crisis, missing the vital victory in Christ.
He sounds ‘an alarm to the unconverted.’ Nothing alters his determination to deliver the Word of God. He bends his soul in delightful acquiescence to God’s perfect will, a powerful purpose reigns singly in his breast. He realises that if he is to be ‘pre-eminent in disaster’ then he must be ‘neglectful of privilege’. Having received the sprinkling of God’s rare blessedness, an eternal stream must be poured upon the barren soil of men’s hearts; this unalloyed joy must be committed to all who hear. Like Paul he says, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.’ Because of this understanding he is what he is. No one would stand where he stands unless a miracle had moved his feet to higher ground.
The Endurance He Shows
The Fervency He Displays
The word to notice in this text is ‘night,’ a word that can cause the heart to fear, a shrouded dimness that speaks of evil. ‘Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.’ The legions of hell plot their wicked machinations under cover of darkness. Since Adam fell, the world has entered a night that has plunged many a wayward sinner into abysmal separation from God. When Jesus came it was to those who ‘sat in darkness’. When He left the cross He went to the domain where fallen spirits are reserved ‘in chains of darkness’ until the judgement.’
This world is plunging deeper into gross darkness as men set themselves in array against God, “they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Wherever you look there is a growing animosity against the things of God. The mark of Cain is rampant throughout the land as wilful disobedience to God’s laws sweeps through every strata of society. Furious currents sweep against the bulwarks of truth, threatening to smash the very citadel of God.
‘Watchman, what of the night?’ – Aye, he can well say, for a floodtide of sin is approaching. He stands within splashing distance of sin’s angry spray, but shakes himself before the blazing warmth of God’s Spirit. His voice takes on a passion that is born from a heart concern for trembling saints. He stands among the growing darkness inflamed with divine urgency. His fervour knows no end. Constantly, against bitter tides of opinion, he points men to God. He cries a warning, turns men to their stations, and directs them to the precepts of God. Does he tire? Is he weary? Yes, yes – but not defeated!
The Fearlessness He Discloses
Most people at some time or other have been afraid of the dark; the Watchman is no exception. But with Christ he is more than able to overcome the most spiteful foe. Like Silas, he sings in the prison stocks. Christ is his closest Friend and faithful Brother; He fills his soul with Divine delight. He has become aware that greater is He that is in him than he who is in the world. There is an inner iron, a metal of the soul. Perfect love has cast out all fear. The past is past, the future is safe, and the present is in His hand. He says: “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver us: in whom we trust that yet He will deliver us;” past experience, current emergency and future expectation are all in His sovereign hand. Every day he feels God’s hand, for every day the Devil speaks his cunning. He calls to mind the words of Job: “He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes; in seven no evil shall touch you.“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” He does not stand alone; the Forerunner has gone on before. The veil has been rent; he is now anchored in that which is within the veil.11 So are we!
 Matthew 5:35 7 Romans 1:21
2 Romans 1:16 8 2 Corinthians 1:10
3 Isaiah 21:11,12 9 Job 5:19
4 John 3:19 10Psalm 34:19
5 Matthew 4:16 11 Hebrews 6:19
6 Jude 1:6