A Watchman’s Hope
Watching for the enemy is dangerous work. To be wrong once endangers many lives. Any day an enemy could arise; homes would be destroyed, peace would give way to terror, lives would be lost. A Watchman needs solid footing and a place to grasp in case of an emergency. Watchmen need a stable foundation. They need hope.
Facing those possibilities every day could make a Watchmen jaded, seeing only the evil in the world and overlooking what is good. Watchmen see God’s hand at work in every day of rest and peace. Even when there is conflict, they expect to see God intervene, secure and rescue.
Watchmen may have more reason to expect disaster, but they do not speak of destruction, they speak hope into the darkest situations. Watchmen hope and their hope in the face of danger instills hope in those too weakened or injured or desperate to hope for themselves.
A Watchman’s hope is unshakable, because that hope is firmly established in the eternal power of God (Phil. 1:20).
Psalm 37:3 says, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”
Yes, they have a calling that keeps them vigilant, but mostly that is vigilance against evil. If you spend your life looking for evil—a demon behind every door—you will begin seeing the devil where he isn’t. In so doing you are almost giving him permission to access areas he doesn’t occupy. You are surrendering territory that is not his.
The devil’s power is limited, but as any liar and imposter, he will gladly take credit for anything that makes him appear more powerful than he really is. Watchmen know who the enemy is, what he is capable of, and what he is not. The devil is real, and he has some authority because it was given to him by Adam and Eve. They were intended to “rule over the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28-31) One of the results of their sin was that Adam and Eve sacrificed their right to oversee God’s creation. The devil claimed that power and became the prince of the planet instead of Adam and Eve. (Eph. 2:1)
Satan, like a junkyard dog, has a chain around his neck, which will one day become his noose. For now, he moves about the earth (Job 2:2); seething, skulking, stalking, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The devil cannot escape his bonds, he earned them. He cannot escape his incapacities. He moves and acts only so far as he is allowed by those unaware of his presence, or welcomed by those who believe he is what he is not.
The devil is not all-knowing, all-powerful, or ever-present. Only God possesses those qualities. The devil is one creature, limited in power and movement and knowledge. Satan can only be one place at a time, existing at one moment in time. He cannot move forward or back in time because he did not create time, God created time. As the Creator of time, God controls every element of it. Satan is only bound by it.
Does the devil know what will happen in the future? Yes, he does. He knows for the same reason Christians know – God’s Word, both spoken and written. Some have said the devil knows the Bible better than we do. It’s possible, he was here when it was being written over the last several thousand years. He quoted Scripture to Jesus (Matthew 4:6). Yes, the devil knows what’s in the Bible, which means he also knows that in the end, he will lose and spend eternity in hell (Rev. 20:10).
A Watchman’s hope, then, is not as much hope as it is confidence; confidence that God knows what He is doing, that He restrains the enemy, that His plans are best, and that no matter the present circumstances, God wins in the end.
So, a Watchman hopes.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)
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