More than a Watchman

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:1-8

What does a watchman, sentry high, 
Fix eyes upon there in the sky? 
Pale blush of pink, 
First hint of light, 
In deepest heaven as day draws nigh?
To what does he listen with ears attuned? 
The quiet before dawn? Early chatter and swoon 
Of birds now awakened? 
Winged grace and glory 
Each praising the morn in personal croon?
He hears the march of coming day, 
He spies the armies of clouds at bay, 
He welcomes the warmth, the clear, the storm, 
Ready for every onslaught borne, 
In duty, drudgery, and fray.
If I be a watchman for what must I look? 
The menacing clouds, the pestering rook? 
Do I gaze at this or that 
And let distraction pull off track 
Or will I stay with the Book?
Watching and waiting in dread or fear? 
Stressed by enemies far and near? 
Nervous at now and 
worried at then, 
Or trusting the cause of my Savior dear?
Am I weighted with regret?
Has my sorrow no outlet? 
Remember the cross,
Nothing is lost, 
Jesus has fully paid my debt.
Would I an attentive watchman be 
Within the world of fright and flee 
At peace in heart and in my mind, 
Alert and keen, and grace-filled, kind, 
As I wait in hope for Thee.
And let my watching set each day 
In holy rhythm, without dismay, 
Of joyful song, anticipation, 
Good and lofty expectation, 
In all I do and say.
For all my days may it be true, 
I perch up high and set my view, 
Through every storm and drought and burn, 
With every task and lesson learned, 
More than a watchman I watch for You.


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