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The fourth watch of the night; God's time for you!

Rev. Enoch Thompson | May 16, 2023 | Matthew 14:25-30


During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. Matthew 14:25 (NIV)


In our walk with God, we look forward to God doing things for us, and sometimes, because we are limited by space and time, we get frustrated because God’s time does not fall in line with our timing. It can be frustrating to deal with God, of Him the Psalmist says, “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” Ps 90:4 (NIV). When we cry out to God in the storms of life He sometimes seems to be far off and long in responding to our cries.

Our text for today shows us that the Lord cares about us and intervenes in our situations, in His time. The storm in which the disciples were caught must have started late evening, and they would have expected that if the Master would come to their rescue, it would be right soon after the trouble started. We are told that while they sailed the tempests of that night their Master was in communication with His heavenly Father. Whatever God chooses to do while we are afflicted seems to be of little value to us, except that we need God now, and right quick.

However, “During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.” (Matthew 14:25). The fourth watch is the period between 3 am and 6 am, the last division of the hours of the night. The storm of the faithful had lasted all night but the Master appears during the fourth watch. God has a way of acting when we think we have been molested all night long. He came into the situation of a besieged Israel, hemmed in by the Red Sea and the pursuing forces of Egypt during the fourth watch of the night: “²³ The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. ²⁴During 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. ²⁵He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, "Let's get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt." Ex 14:23-25 (NIV).


Do you feel alone and have you been facing the oppressive waves of the enemy forces, and does it look like you are abandoned to your destruction? The Lord is looking over you, and in the fourth watch, just before the day breaks, and the enemy declares his victory over you, the Lord will descend into your lot, and turn around the tide.

It might be your third watch of the night, but keep holding on because the fourth watch of the night is about to start.


Dear Lord, I am grateful for the encouragement of your Word by the record of what you have done for your people in the past. Please help me to believe in your intervention at the right time and in overwhelming ways to bring deliverance. May I have the grace to wait even into the fourth watch. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.



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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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