The watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” 2 Samuel 18:27

This is an interesting story of two messengers who brought a mixed bag of news. The good news is that the enemies who rose up against the king were defeated. Along with that, King David’s son, Absalom.

Messengers who brought bad news were not rewarded. Instead, they might be killed by the king. Hence, the phrase, “Don’t kill the messenger.”

The watchman stands and waits. The he sees something. Before the news is brought by the messenger, the watchman determines whether it is good or bad news by the way the messenger is approaching. The watchman can tell good news from bad news. This time, it’s a mixed bag.

The king in this case determines the news by the bearer. Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, is well-known and loved by the king. Therefore, he brings good news. The watchman knows Ahimaaz so well that he can tell by the way he runs that is must be Ahimaaz.

The watchman is good at his job. He pays attention to details. He reports what he sees. He reports accurately. For better or worse, the king draws his own conclusions.

Yes, there is good news, but it is tempered by the news of the king’s on, Absalom, who has died in battle.

As watchmen, we’re not the messenger. We report what we see. We relay information. The watchman does not step beyond what he sees. The king draws his own conclusions.

I don’t want to push the metaphor any further for fear of digging myself into a deep hole. The point is that watchman must observe carefully and report accurately.

This is difficult to do when you discern things in the spiritual realm. We want to interpret, draw our won conclusions and announce it to the whole world.

One time the Lord showed me that a person I worked with was very angry with me. God also showed me that He was protecting me from the wrath of this person by way of a glass wall in a dream where the person could not touch me. That’s all I needed to know.

I could draw many conclusions from what I saw to validate my position. These conclusions may or may not have been valid. The Lord pulled the veil back for a moment so that I could peek behind the curtain and see what was going on in the spiritual realm.

I think I’ve had many of these experiences. The Lord shows us what we need to know to do our “job.”

Reporting what we see and not venturing into what God has not revealed to us keeps us stable. The watchman who could tell that it was Ahimaaz from the way he ran did his job well. The news wasn’t quite what the king thought he was going to hear. Yes, he cared about the battle, but he cared more about the well-being of his rebellious son.

Let’s stay faithful to our calling. If God calls you to be a watchperson, stick to reporting what you see. Your unfounded conclusions may well muddy the waters for you. See clearly, report accurately and stay on task.

By Ralph Veenstra