Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post.
The church was selling a property. A nonrefundable deposit was agreed upon, and the buyer was to put the money into the escrow account. A month had passed and so the pastor decided to check on the process of the deal; he called the buyer and asked whether the deposit had been made. The buyer assured him that he had, but the pastor decided to call the title company to make sure. The account was in fact empty; the payment hadn’t been made. The deal was canceled.
Isaiah posted his lookout in the watchtower. Vigilance was a standard requirement in those troubled times, so they kept watch until, finally, the news arrived: Babylon had fallen! Jesus taught his followers to have similar vigilance, to “be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matt.10:16).
As a new year dawns, we too must be discerning and cling to hope. We can acknowledge that wolves still lurk in the land, and test things out before we embrace them wholesale. What proves good and right will remain, and we can then take those things and move forward. We can enter the new year with an open heart. And even though we cannot see the future, we can place hope in the One who holds the future in the hollow of his hand.
Start the year with prayer; ask God for discernment and wisdom.
Frank Robinson is a retired Wesleyan pastor with thirty-five years of service in the Pacific Southwest District. He lives in Cornville, Arizona with his wife, Thelma.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.