“. . .Watchman, what of the night?  Watchman, what of the night?”

Isaiah 21:11b

If we fail in our responsibility, what will happen to those who are not ready?


Of all the soldiers, they’re the most important—for they’re the ones who watch for the first sign of danger and sound the alarm to warn their comrades.  Most of the time, theirs is a lonely job—for seldom do they have another soldier to keep them company as they maintain their vigil.

Sometimes they’re posted on the walls to scour the surrounding countryside for any sign of advancing troops.  Other times they’re in a forward listening post. . .watching through the night   . . .regardless of the weather. . .for any indication of the enemy’s attempt to sneak in as a “thief in the night.”

Thus, it goes without saying, theirs is an extremely important position.

The question is, “Are they doing their job?”

And, that’s the essence of today’s Manna—for the Lord (and those around us) are asking, “Watchman, what of the night?  Watchman, what of the night?”

Even now, Pilgrim, do you hear the Holy Spirit asking you, “Watchman, what of the night?  What do you see and hear as you look around you?  What wiles of the devil and hidden snares are being laid for the unsuspecting in the form of values, philosophies, socially-acceptable mores, etc.?  How is the evil one attacking?  What treachery lies even within your own camp (family, church, etc.) that must be dealt with lest the enemy gain a stronghold?”


A watchman’s responsibility is to watch and warn.  When he “sees the sword come into the land, he must sound the alarm and warn the people” (Ez. 33:3).  If he does—and the people “heed not the warning” (v.4a)—then “their blood is upon their own head when the sword comes” (v.4b).  However, if he “sees the sword and sounds not the alarm, the blood of the people is upon his own head” (v.6).

Therefore, it’s clear, a watchman’s responsibility and accountability are great.  And, woe to any of us who think otherwise.  Just as a doctor never delights in telling a patient he’s gravely ill and needing radical surgery, so do we not delight in “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) to those who “oppose themselves—i.e., keep self-destructing—by having fallen into satan’s snare and have been taken captive by him at his will” (II Tim. 2:25-26).  But, hopefully, our warning them will help them come to their senses and turn back to God.

The watchman’s job is an important job; but, it is also so often a thankless job that incurs the wrath, ridicule, opposition, etc., of those whose deeds are evil (Ez. 33:10-33).  Be prepared for such mistreatment by wearing the full Christian Armor (Eph. 6:10-18) and “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith” (Heb. 12:2a).  And, be faithful in your calling and task, for the Master and others are asking, “Watchman, what of the night?”

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 16, 2009

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