The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. - Psalm 121:5
The theme of Psalm 121 is that of God as our protector, guide and preserver. The word translated "keeper" is the Hebrew word, "shomer" which is used several times in this one short chapter.
Vs. 3 - He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Vs. 4 - He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Vs. 7 - The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
Vs. 8 - The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in.
God takes care of His people. As if this weren't proof enough, the word "shomer" is used over 400 times in the Bible, in many cases speaking of God's actions toward His children. In its most literal translation, the word means "to place a hedge about." I like to think of it in the sense that God has me surrounded.
So often when we think of being surrounded, it's a negative thought. Surrounded by the enemy. Surrounded by broken dreams. Surrounded by troubles and trials. Surrounded by people who always want more than we can give. Too often we lose sight of the fact that God is on every side. He goes before us to light the way. He walks beside us in companionship and love. And He follows in our wake, guarding our back against the trailing enemy. We are protected from all directions, and nothing will get to us unless God permits it.
But the central truth I want to remind us of today is that God's protection (keeping) goes far beyond physical foes. His preservation of our soul encompasses protection from our thoughts, limiting beliefs and so much more. Allow me to share just a few examples.
1) He keeps us in peace. -
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)
Not only does God keep us from things, but He also keeps us to things. He brings about peace in our hearts and minds when we make an effort to keep our thoughts focused on Him. In that haven of peace, we are secure against the dangerous sway of emotion which often leads to anxiety and depression.
2) He keeps us from falling. -
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen (Jude 1:24-25)
Not only does God protect us from outside sources, but He offers security against our own fleshly desires and worldly ways. Through the conviction of His Spirit (our conscience), He points out wrong actions and the consequences that are sure to follow and gives us the opportunity to make better choices.
3) He keeps us in His way. -
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. (Psalm 91:11) -
Not only does God prevent us from doing wrong, but He leads us in the ways to do right. He opens our hearts to compassion for the needy. He moves us to help others, to serve in whatever capacity He's enabled us and to follow His commandments. That's not to say we're always successful, but we can be assured that He is continuously there guiding and urging us to do the right thing.
4) He keeps whatever we commit to Him. -
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (II Timothy 1:12)
I have given Jesus my heart and life, and I can trust Him to keep me safe. When I commit my problems to Him, I can have faith that He will properly deal with them. Whatever I give Him, I know, without a doubt, He will take good care of it. After all, another definition of the word "shomer" is "to treasure or cherish."
Safe in the arms of Jesus--that's where we are today. Safe in His tender care. He is our keeper, and He is faithful to protect, guard and guide us. We need not fear what we may face in this life because our Keeper is ever attentive to our needs. He never slumbers or sleeps. He knows. He cares. He's working. And not only does He keep His children, but He also keeps His promises. We're in good hands with Jesus our Keeper.