March 6, 2020  
Deputy Principal and Chaplain - Rev. James Rogers

In my last newsletter article, I commenced a three-part series based upon the first words of the first three stanzas of a poem I stumbled across in the summer break called Storm. The words were listen, watch, wait. They are three words that have great currency in the Bible. Last time we considered the word ‘listen’; this week we will give attention to the word ‘watch’. And to start us off I want to take us back to one of the earliest books of the Bible, the Book of Deuteronomy.

The Book of Deuteronomy consists of three extended sermons preached by Moses to Israel as he prepares them to enter the Promised Land. In the sermons, Moses reiterates how God had saved Israel from Egypt and how he had given them his Law which they were to keep in the Promised Land so that it would go well with them. God’s Law would be their wisdom before the nations who would look on and marvel at the uniqueness of their ways and give praise to God. As Moses rallies Israel to the cause of obedience to God he gives them this charge:

“Be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.” (Deuteronomy 4.9)

Israel is to watch that they don’t forget God when they enter the land. They are to guard their hearts so that they don’t deny God. Faithfulness will not happen by chance. They would need to be intentional.

This is a consistent message throughout the whole Bible: we are to watch carefully the condition of our souls. An example in the New Testament is the exhortation from the Apostle Paul to his loyal companion Timothy (1 Tim 4.16):

“16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Again, faithfulness will not happen automatically. We will need to be intentional with our beliefs and our behaviour, making sure that we are fully aligned with God and his purposes as revealed in the Bible.

In his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus showed us what it means to watch. It is to fight the temptation to deny God by speaking God’s words directly at the temptation.

When we considered the word ‘listen’ we noted how the Bible says we have a listening problem. The same is true of watching. We tend to be overly watchful of all the wrong things. We watch keenly the progress of our investments or the accumulation of our assets but not the condition of our souls. It’s because we fail to put a right value on our souls. We need to feel the force of the question Jesus poses in Matthew’s gospel: What good is it if we gain the whole world but forfeit our souls. Meaningless, meaningless.

There is a lovely promise in the Bible for those who watch keenly the condition of their souls. God watches over them (Psalm 1.6).

This is good reason to be watchful.


Exceeding National Quality Standards


Outside Hours Care at TIGS