As we journey through the life of the beautiful maiden of the Song of Songs we have come to a place where she is not “feeling” the presence of the Lord in her life, and is desperate to sense His warm embrace once more. Have you been there? Are you there now?
Last week we saw her answer the call He had last spoken to her –
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along. ~ Song 2:10
She got up and left her place of solitary worship, and headed back to the ‘city.’
Here are we introduced to a new group, the watchmen.
The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
And I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’ ~ Song 3:3
Who are these watchmen?
The watchmen in the Song represent the authority structure of the community of faith. We will actually see two sides of this ministry structure in the song.
I know that when I mention authority structure in the church, many of us (myself included) recoil a bit. I know there are abuses and quite a bit of ugliness in the church world, and we will see some of that later in the Song. But today we get a glimpse of church leaders doing the right thing. This body of leadership is seeking out the wondering soul. Notice: “The watchmen … found me.”
The point of Church Structure is not a ruling body seeking to receive honor and position, and to exercise dominion and authority over people. Church leadership should be number of people who serve, minister, offering protection and nurture to those younger in the faith.
The title “watchmen” brings to mind those who sit on the walls and watch for danger. Paul’s final exhortation to the elders in Ephesus gives us this same picture.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock ~ Acts 20:28
The other function is to help folks connect, or reconnect with Jesus.
Has the Lord set you in His body as a watchman? We all share this roll at some level. Perhaps you do not have a badge or a position or a title, but for some you act as a watchman, caring for the souls of those around you.
It is so tempting here to talk about the abuses of this idea. That God has somehow set you up to be a moral police officer with a badge and protruding index finger. That is not the idea.
We are a flock of sheep. If you have been in the flock longer, you probably can give some pointers to the new sheep on how to follow the shepherd. You could keep an eye out for the less mature sheep to make sure they are not wandering off alone, or getting stuck in some thorny patch.
Does that make sense?
See you then
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