KEY TEXT: Psalms 121:4-8 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
KEY THOT: The Lord our God neither slumbers nor sleep. He is our “keeper” and He keeps watch over us 24x7. He is our keeper in four areas of our life:
- “your shade on your right hand” (v.5): He protects from natural hazards of harmful rays of the sun in the day and the hidden dangers lurking at night. God is our “shade” and he shields us from hazards coming from our environment. Today, we are not only exposed to harmful UV radiations from the sun, we are also exposed to many man-made environmental pollution: radiations emitted from our cell-phones, TVs, computers and electronics in home appliances, cars, buses, including aircrafts. On top of that, we are also exposed to endless combinations and configurations of chemical pollution introduced into our home environment (paints and plastics), GM food and even our beverages and drinking waters. While we should take whatever common-sense precaution we can to reduce our exposure to these harmful pollutants, we cannot escape from them all. We have to trust God to be our “shade” to shield us from such exposures.
- “keep you from all evil” (v.7a): This “evil” refers to both moral and natural dangers. Anything that will undermine our spiritual and moral integrity is evil. Evil can comes from the supernatural realm of spirits and demons, from the human realm of worldly temptation and sin, even from physical hazards posed by contemporary life--speeding cars gone out of control, malfunctioning planes, terrorist attacks, etc. We have to trust that our God who neither slumbers nor sleeps will keep us from this evil as we draw near to him. He builds a hedge of protection around those who walk close to him.
- “keep your life” (v.7b): Ultimately, God is the one who determines how long we remain on this planet earth to serve His purpose. When our purpose is complete, we will be taken up in glory. But in the meantime, if we seek to fulfill his purpose on this earth, he will “keep our life.” I can’t say much for those who refuse to submit to his purpose and therefore expose themselves to Satanic assaults. But for those who are committed to His plan and purpose, God has a special interest to see to it that they live out their full life. It may not necessary mean we will have a long life--but definitely, a fruitful life.
- “keep your going and coming in” (v.8): In these days of massive movement, not only by foot but also by road, rail, sea or air, there is always the danger of accidents. God is our keeper as we go in and out of our homes. Everyday, as we step out of our door, we should seek the Lord’s protection so that we may return home safely and in one piece.
The psalmist reminds us that the God that we worship “neither slumbers nor sleeps”. In fact, he is constantly watching over us. Not only to keep us safe from natural dangers but also to keep us safe from moral ones. We are constantly exposed to temptations of this world and lure us into directions that compromise our faith and values.
May the Lord be our Keeper from this time forth and forevermore! Amen.