Stand Up and Watch
Scripture: I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected. Habakkuk 2:1 (NKJV)
Observation: There are four important expressions in this verse, all of which relate to the attitude of the prophet before God.
1. The first two are “stand upon” and “watch.” The prophets often compare themselves to watchmen, waiting the revelations of God with earnest patience, standing on a lookout watching with intensity all that comes within their view (Is 21:8, 11; Je 6:17; Ez 3:17; compare Ps 5:3; 85:8). The number of synonyms used by Habakkuk, “stand open … watch … set me upon … tower … watch to see” implies persevering fixity of attention.
2. “what he will say unto me”—in answer to my complaints (Hab 1:13). Literally the expression means “in me.” God is speaking, not simply to the prophet’s outward ear, but rather inwardly. When we have prayed to God, we need to wait and listen to what answers God gives by His word, His Spirit, through others, and through events that take place, what some would cal “providences.”
3. “what I shall answer when I am reproved”— in other words, what will be my attitude toward God when in answer to my prayers He chastises me, corrects me, or reproves me? If God answers our prayers just the way we want Him to, we express our thanks to him; but what do we say when in answer to our prayer He reproves us?
Application: The role of the parent, particularly of the father, toward their children is not that much different from that of the prophet. He is to be the Seer (an old term to describe part of the role of the prophet), standing and watching, earnestly and patiently, to see what God will tell them, for wisdom to know how lead his home and his children, for guidance from God which he can impart to his own household.
His role is also as God’s spokesman. As head of the household the parent, and particularly the father, needs to lead his family to do what God wants them to do, what God’s word teaches we should do.
But our role as God’s spokesperson does not give us the right to speak as if we were infallible, flawless, or perfect. In fact, Habakkuk also reminds us that if we are open to God’s leading, there will be times when He will reprove us. When that happens, his humble attitude will teach important lessons about submission to God knowing that He knows what is best for us.
A Prayer You May Say: Father God, may we as parents represent You properly and faithfully to our family, especially to our children, who will get a good or bad picture of You through us.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.