I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me. Habakkuk 2:1 (NIVUK)
‘Not on my watch!’ is an English idiom meaning, ‘That will not happen while I am on the lookout.’ As regards the origin of the phrase, it is apparently a nautical expression and doesn’t come from any specific incident but from the nature of command on board a ship; the day and night are divided into ‘watches’ (which are like shifts in industry) and the officers take turns to be ‘officer of the watch’, i.e. on duty and in charge.
In today’s passage Habakkuk states, “I will stand at my watch and station myself… I will look to see…” Are we positioned properly?
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the Northern Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15th April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. On 23rd October 2016, the headlines of a national newspaper read, “A rusty locker key from the doomed Titanic sells at auction for £85,000.” It is thought to have fitted the locker that contained the crow’s nest binoculars, vital in detecting threats to the liner lurking in the sea in the pre-sonar days of 1912. Catastrophically for the Titanic and the 1,522 lives lost with her, the key’s owner, Second Officer David Blair, was removed from the crew at the last minute and in his haste forgot to hand it to his replacement. Without access to the binoculars, the lookouts in the crow’s nest were forced to rely on their eyes and only saw the iceberg when it was too late to take action.
We must ensure that we are standing at our watch with our spiritual eyesight in place, our binoculars. Are we on the alert? Are we vigilant?
Pray diligently. Stay alert… Colossians 4:2 (MSG)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (NASB)
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV)
In the words of Jesus:
“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:37 (NKJV)