In the ancient world, cities had these huge walls all the way around them that served as their primary form of defense against enemy attacks. The walls were often 10 feet thick and 30 feet high. On the top of the walls, they would position watchmen to warn against an enemy attack. It was the watchmen’s responsibility to watch over the city. If the watchmen failed to do their job, it could be fatal for the inhabitants of the city.
In Ancient Rome, they had a group of men known as the Vigiles Urbani, which means “the watchmen of the city.” They were the firefighters and police of Rome. They served as the night watch of Rome, watching out for burglars, runaway slaves, criminals, and fires. Throughout history, there have been different types of watchmen and they have played a crucial role in some of history’s biggest events.
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. The Presidential box was guarded by a policeman named John Parker. However, during the intermission, John Parker left his post. He went to a tavern with Lincoln’s footman and coachman. He was not at his post when Booth entered the box and assassinated the President. Because Lincoln’s watchman abandoned his post, the President’s life was cut short early.
You see, being a watchman is a serious responsibility—it’s a matter of life and death for the people you are responsible to watch over.
I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
— Isaiah 62:6-7 (NIV)
In Isaiah 62, the Lord says that He has set watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem who will not be silent day or night. They will pray and cry out to the Lord until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise in the earth. God was referring not to natural watchmen but to spiritual watchmen. Who are spiritual watchmen? They are intercessors who watch over their cities and cover their cities in prayer. They are the guardians.
Will you watch over your family and church and city and nation in prayer? Will you be a guardian?
Lead Pastor | Passion Church