Watchman, what time of the night?
What enemies are around? Errors abound, and new ones appear every hour: Against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I need to climb the watchtower and give myself to prayer. Our heavenly Protector anticipated all the attacks that are about to be made upon us, and when the evil designed for us is still in the desire of Satan, He prays for us that our faith will not fail when we are sifted as wheat. Continue then, gracious Watchman, to warn us of our foes, and for Zion’s sake do not remain silent.
“Watchman, what time of the night?” What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds rolling in, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with sincere and thoughtful love; and now that empty religion and irreligion both threaten, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.
“Watchman, what time of the night?” What stars are visible? What precious promises are relevant to our circumstances? You sound the alarm and also give us the consolation. Christ, like the North Star, is always fixed in His place, and all the stars are secure in the right hand of their Lord.
But, watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom delays. Are there no signs of His appearing as the Sun of Righteousness? Hasn’t the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn and the shadows flee away? O Jesus, if You don’t come in person to Your waiting Church today, still come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.
Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to Thy word.
C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.