We have learned that David divided the Levites into their divisions; today we learned something else about the Levites who served as gatekeepers: they were watchmen (1 Chr 26:16). A watchman, according to Webster’s, is one who keeps watch – one who keeps vigil, one who is awake during the night, one who is attentive or vigilant, one who keeps guard, one who keeps someone or something under close observation.
The Hebrew word is mishmar, a guard post, a watch post, thus a watchman himself. It is from the primitive root, shamar, Strong’s H8104; to keep, guard, observe, give heed; also to beware.
So gatekeepers watched for trouble on the horizon so they could sound the alarm when they saw trouble coming. When everyone else was asleep, they were awake. They were attentive and vigilant during the night. So the Temple, the place of the LORD’s name, the place of His presence, must be guarded and kept under close observation. Why? Because one of the strategies of the enemy, is to defile that place. That is what the antichrist does when he establishes the abomination of desolation – he defiles the place of the LORD’s name and His presence.
This applies to us personally, each one of us, because the place of the LORD’s name and His presence today is ourselves. We must guard our hearts with all diligence (mishmar, Pro 4:23). We must touch not the unclean thing, and keep ourselves unstained from the world (2 Cor 6:17-18, Jam 1:27). We must pay attention and closely observe those things which grieve the Holy Spirit, and defile the temples of our bodies, and prevent their access to our hearts at all times.
Corporately for the ekklesia, the assembly of believers, which is the Body of Messiah, many of today’s intercessors and prayer warriors are the equivalent of watchmen. Not all, because some intercessors are equivalent to warriors — actually engaged in active defense and offense in spiritual warfare. But some are watchmen — God shows them what is on the horizon, He reveals strategies and plans of the enemy, and they warn those who are sleeping.
But now that the Temple is no longer, the need for watchmen has not ceased, but increased. As the night and darkness around us increases, and as others multiply who have fallen asleep, the need for watchmen becomes even more vital. If we ourselves are called to be watchers on the wall, we must remain alert and be unafraid to sound an alarm when that which defiles approaches the Body of Messiah! And if we ourselves are not called to be watchmen, then we need to give ear to those who are, and pay heed to their warning!