I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
And give him no rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
. . “and give him no rest.”
This is a bold statement. I would never dare to make it. Much less would I have the courage to carry it out, if it were not that my Lord Jesus Christ urges me to do so.
“Him” refers to Jehovah, the eternal “I AM.” He is the Immovable Rock who maintains His cause and covenant over against all the attacks of the powers of darkness in this present evil world.
The One who gives me this instruction is no less than the Angel of Jehovah. The Angel is addressing Jerusalem as His militant church on earth, spurring her on to hold undauntedly to the faith entrusted to her and to keep her eye fixed upon the glory promised in the world to come. This Angel is the Christ, of Whom the Psalmist spoke in prophetic vision, “The zeal of Thy House hath eaten Me up.” (John 2:17)
Jesus’ disciples witnessed that zeal throughout His entire earthly ministry. They stood amazed, for this zeal literally devoured Him; yet He never faltered. Deliberately .He walked in the ever darkening shadow of the cross as the suffering Servant of Jehovah, even when every step He took brought Him closer to the abyss, the yawning pit of utter darkness and horrors of God-forsakenness. In holy zeal Jesus clung to the cross even when His enemy, Satan, desperately wanted to tear Him down to prevent Him from bringing atonement for the sins of His people. Triumphantly His zealous voice echoed through the depths of hell: “It is finished!” With renewed ardor Christ made His march of triumph through the tomb, through the heavens to the Heaven of heavens, where all power was entrusted to Him over every creature of the universe. Even now Christ zealously labors in fervent devotion to God. He rules as King of kings and Lord of lords, carrying out the counsel of God’s will that all glory may be unto the Father, world without end. He gathers His church unto Himself as eagerly as a bridegroom prepares for his wedding day.
God’s zeal for the perfect revelation of His own glorious NAME is the zeal of Christ. Christ’s zeal fills the Spirit of Christ, Who, in turn, arouses that zeal in our hearts, as the zeal of God’s House.
Christ urges us from heaven: Give Jehovah no rest; no, not until He makes Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth.
“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem.”
In the old dispensation Jerusalem was situated upon mount Zion as a mighty stronghold with massive walls and strong, iron gates. Jerusalem represented the militant church of God as she still fights the battle of faith against all of God’s enemies, which are her enemies: boldly confident of the victory in her God. Of her the inspired poet sang: “Walk ye round about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye her bulwarks, consider her palaces: that ye may tell it to the generations following. For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” (Psalm 48:12-14)
Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Christ, the mighty Conqueror, came to earth for the very purpose of fighting her battles and destroying her foes. As her victorious Lord He is now enthroned in the heavens. By His Spirit He takes up residence in her midst, even in the hearts of Jerusalem’s inhabitants. Do you not hear it? There is the shout of a King among them. (Num. 23:21) He entrusts to His church the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatsoever she binds on earth is bound in heaven, whatsoever she looses on earth is loosed in heaven. Christ opens and closes the gates of the kingdom through her, thus assuring her that the gates of hell can never overwhelm her.
As if that were a small thing, Jerusalem is uniquely the City of God. God dwells in the midst of her. Her inhabitants are saints in Christ, citizens of the heavenly commonwealth, who live in most intimate communion of life with God, and thus with one another. The enemy rages within and without, the struggle is long and bitter. The anxious night causes Jerusalem’s children to ask: “Watcher, what of the night?” And the reassuring answer echoes back: “The morning cometh, even though it is still night.” In the darkest hours God is her Refuge and her Strength, a very present Help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Even when the antichristian powers seem to overwhelm the church, she still looks in eager anticipation for the day when the new Jerusalem will descend from God out of heaven and the tabernacle of God will be eternally with men. Then the iron doors will be changed into pearly gates that stand wide open; the lurking enemy is banished forever. Jerusalem’s streets will be of gold, her mansions fully occupied, and her glory like the dazzling brightness of the sun at noonday. God’s glory will shine forth upon the uplifted faces of the saints, who devote themselves in holy ardor to Him, yes, to HIM, the ever blessed, the wholly adorable Lord over all.
In her present situation with the enemies still threatening from every side, Jerusalem’s safety rests with her sentinels who guard her walls. These sentinels have a threefold task to perform. They must be alert for any sneak attack of the enemy, to warn the inhabitants to take up arms to defend themselves. They must also know the time, so that day and night they may call the hour, announce the signs of the times, and give the citizens ample time to adorn themselves in festive array for the arrival of their King. These watchmen are at the same time the King’s heralds, proclaiming to Jerusalem the messages of her King.
It is no wonder that these men are carefully screened, chosen, appointed, trained, equipped, and mandated by no one less than God Himself. Jerusalem’s inhabitants are informed of God: “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem!” In the broadest sense of the word, these watchmen include every member of the church in the office of believers. Parents are watchmen in the home, teachers are watchmen in the school, the single adults, the aged, the young people, and even the children are watchmen, each in his own divinely appointed place with abilities entrusted to him from God. A great responsibility rests upon the shoulders of each and every believer to guard his soul from the assaults of the evil one, and to protect his fellow Countrymen from attack.
Each one of us wears the uniform of Jesus Christ, which we receive at baptism, and which we keep, even though in time tattered and tom, until we exchange it for white robes of righteousness, palm branches of victory, and the crown of glory. The same. God who assures Jerusalem that He supplies her with watchmen also pledges to her that they will be faithful. They “shall never hold their peace day nor night.” Never will they allow the enemy to approach without giving warning. Never will they fail to call the hour, whether that be at noonday or in the dark hours before the dawn is breaking. Never will they cease to call: “Prepare thyself, O Israel, for thy King cometh unto thee.” No, false sentinels do hold their peace to deceive the people, but true watchmen never can. Jerusalem’s citizens may rest assured of that.
Yet, knowing my own weaknesses, my own failings, how can I be sure? What man is there among the children of men who is qualified for this task? The Lord assures us that when He sets His own watchmen upon our walls He Himself also qualifies them for their calling. He mandates them through His Word and by His Spirit in their hearts. He says: “Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silent.” The same Spirit Who calls also qualifies them by His constant witness within them.
I find that the expression, “Ye that make mention of the Lord,” might well be expressed as: “ye who are Jehovah’s remembrancers.”
Jerusalem’s watchmen are gifted of God to be Jehovah’s remembrancers.
Anyone who remembers. is one who knows. He knows because he is taught of God. The Dutch has a word for that. It is, “Godgeleerde,” which means, one who is taught of God; in that sense a theologian. He is taught, not by a mere inner voice, but by the Holy Spirit Who speaks to him through the Scriptures. He is taught, not merely intellectually, so that he can converse freely about the things of God, but he is taught to know God in love, so that he confesses from the heart: “This God is my God forever and ever.”
This theologian keeps God in remembrance as before his mind’s eye. Like Enoch, he walks with God. Like David, he has the Lord always at his right hand. Like Asaph, he confesses: “Thou hast holden me by my right hand: thou shalt guide me by Thy counsel, and afterward receive me in. glory.” Like Paul, he counts it a privilege to know nothing but. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. That truth SO inspires his soul, that he prefers to talk about nothing but that. His occupation, his duties, his cares, his times of relaxation are all subservient to this one calling to be a faithful sentinel upon Zion’s walls. He chooses rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season. He esteems the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of this world. He confesses: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” He begins to understand just a little bit how that zeal of God’s House could devour his Christ.
Yes, I begin to understand what my Lord means when he urges me, “And give Jehovah no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in all the earth.”
He spurs me on to prayer, even to watch and pray. That prayer must be a divinely acceptable prayer, not concerned with all my present whims and fancies, but motivated by the Spirit of Christ within me, so that I sincerely pray: “Father, I want nothing more than that Thy NAME be hallowed. Father, I long for the coming of Thy kingdom. Father, teach me to do Thy will, but also cause Thy will to be done by the angels in heaven, by every creature on the earth, even by the evil forces of hell. Yes, Father, for Thine IS the kingdom, Thine the power, Thine the glory into endless eternity.
The exalted Christ urges us to pray much, even without ceasing. He spurs us on to storm the throne of grace with constant prayers, to clamor for a hearing, to insist on receiving what we ask, to compel the Lord to rend the heavens and come down to deliver His church. As Jacob wrestled with the Angel to obtain the blessing, as the importunate widow never ceased to harass the unjust judge, or as the man who wearied his neighbor with midnight pleas, even so may and must we beg of our God to carry out the counsel of His will, the yearning desire of His own soul, that Jerusalem may be established as the capitol City and center of the new creation, reflecting and showing forth in spotless holiness thy praises of her God.
The zeal of God fills Christ Jesus as Lord in heaven. He, in turn, inspires His church, His Bride, with that same holy ardor.
He calls to us: “Behold, I come quickly.”
To which we can only respond: “Yea, Lord Jesus, come . . . quickly.”