Night-watches – What is it ? How many Watches are there ?
And there were shepherds in the same region, lodging in the field, and keeping the night-watches over their flock, Luke 2:18
Lord shared the birth of Jesus to Shepherd who was watching at night. Lord is still looking to share good news to those who are watching. The time between sunset and sunrise was divided into watches. They are so called because watchmen relieved each other at each of these periods. There are frequent references in Scripture to the duties of watchmen who were appointed to give notice of the approach of an enemy. We are watchmen for God, what do the watchmen do at different watches.
The watches of the night were originally three in number,
1. “the beginning of the watches” sunset to 10 P.M [TIME OF POUR OUR]
Lam 2:19 “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. “ Cry out your sorrows and worries during this time, do not pour out to anyone else. Do you run to God at night Ps 119 :148 “Mine eyes anticipated the night-watches, That I might meditate on thy word. “ Wow!; mediate before you sleep off.
Depth of your relation with the Lord depends on how you spend your time just before sleeping. When I remember thee upon my bed, And meditate on thee in the night-watches. Ps 63 :6
2. “the middle watch” from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M [TIME OF SECRET VICTORIES]
Jud 7:19 “Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands.” When whole world is sleeping if we wake up and bend your knees, enemy will flee.
3. “the morning watch” from 2 A.M. to sunrise [BEST TIME TO SPEAK TO GOD]
Exo 14:24 “During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.“ Early in the morning Lord looks down to speak with His people. Best time to find God
Afterward under the Romans they had four watches (Matthew 14:25): Luke 12:38, “even, midnight, cockcrowing, and morning” (Mark 13:35); ending respectively at 9 p.m., midnight, 3 a.m., and 6 a.m. (compare Acts 12:4.)
Lord; make a watchman who transforms the three watches. Lord; pour out your spirit. Watchman for this nation and you will deliver people from dark into the glorious light of Jesus. Amen.