By Carrol Ray Sutton
The word “watch” is found in the Scriptures about 90 times. It suggests the idea of “caution, carefulness, giving close attention to.” Watching is essential to our spiritual welfare and our eternal salvation.
Moses missed Canaan because he failed to watch (Num. 20:1-12; Deut. 34:1-4). Samson’s failure to watch allowed the Philistines to overcome him (Judg. 16). David was ensnared by sin and gave the enemies of Jehovah an occasion to blaspheme because he failed to watch. Solomon was led into idolatry because of his failure to watch (1 Kings 11:3-4).
During his personal ministry on earth, Jesus told the apostles to watch! He admonished them saying: “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit in- deed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41; cf. 24:42-44).
Disciples are told to watch. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, but be strong.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:6 Paul exhorted, saying: “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; let us watch and be sober.” Peter warned disciples, saying: “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8).
Evangelists are told to watch! In 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul exhorted Timothy saying: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” It is absolutely essential that evangelists give close attention!
Elders are told to watch! To elders Paul warned, saying, “Take heed . . . therefore watch . . .” (Acts 20:28-31). Elders are to watch for the souls of others! A serious obligation. It must not be taken lightly!
Jesus said: “And what I say unto you, I say unto all, watch” (Mark 13:37).