Nor is it difficult to see the reason of this, for, if we serve Christ, we are certain to meet with opposition. The mighty hosts of hell will come against us, to hinder and to oppose us.
Let us, then, be prepared for their attack. Let us set a watch against them. Satan and his forces always watch for our weakest point. Let us find out what that point is. What is the weak part of our defences? Is it selfishness? Is it pride? Is it prayerlessness? Is it temper? Is it an unkind spirit? Whatever it is by which we are most easily led astray, that is our weak spot, and there we ought to set a double watch. David had his weak spot, and he knew it: unguarded, hasty words were ever coming out of his mouth, but he found out the weak point in his defences, and there he set a strong and powerful guard. He called upon God Himself to keep out the enemy at that weak place:
‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips.’
Let us not only watch, but let us ever be ready to fight. Never let us lay down the sword of the Spirit, or the shield of faith. Never for a moment let us put off our armour, for we never know when the next attack may come. The unguarded moment is the moment for which Satan always watches, and which he knows only too well how to use.
Above all, let us pray, for the watching and the fighting will be of no avail unless we ask and obtain strength from on high. ’Our God shall fight for us,’ cried Nehemiah to his discouraged men. But they had prayed day and night for the help which bore them safely through. ’Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ask, and ye shall receive.’
’Christian, seek not here repose,
Cast thy dreams of ease away,
Thou art in the midst of foes,
Therefore, Watch and pray.
Gird thy heavenly armour on,
Wear it ever night and day,
Near thee lurks the evil one,
Therefore, Watch and pray.
The World’s Bible.
A great cry, a piercing cry, raised by hundreds of voices, a cry which resounds through the streets of the city, and which is echoed by the surrounding hills. What can be the matter? What can be the cause of this mournful wail?
There was a great cry in Egypt on that awful night, when there was not a house in which there was not one dead. That was the great cry of terror.
Esau raised a great cry when he found that he had lost his father’s blessing, the great cry of disappointment.
There arose a great cry in the council chamber of Jerusalem, when the Apostle Paul stood before his judges,—the cry of conflicting opinion.
But the great cry which is sounding in our ears now is no cry of terror or of disappointment, and the men who join in it are all of one mind; yet the cry is none the less bitter or heartrending. As we listen to it, we can distinguish the shrill voices of women mingled with the deeper ones of men, and we notice also, that, although the cry is one of sorrow and distress, there is a deep undertone of anger and complaining.