“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
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 will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”
This is probably my most favorite chapter in the entire Bible. When I was younger, a lot of emphasis was placed on the first four lines, but it’s the rest of it that truly grips my heart. The Lord is my keeper.
There’s a footnote on the word “protect” in the seventh verse (“The Lord will protect you from all evil...”). Another word that can replace “protect” is “keep.” The same is true for verse eight where it says, “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in[.]” Guard can be replaced with keep, too. This notion of being kept by God is a deep comfort to my soul.
It is hard sometimes in life to see the things that we and others have been through, and to look back up at God and wonder why. I see three things in doing that: 1) our focus is down here rather than on God, 2) God uses everything for our good, and 3) what is your definition of protection?
God will protect me from all evil. What is our battle in Christ against? Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our battle isn’t with the people of this world, it’s against evil - against Satan and his demons - against sin.
I have heard it said that evil is the absence of God. I like that explanation. When we sin, we are apart from God; we separate ourselves from God when we sin. And in God’s “absence,” we commit evil. So does God protect us from ourselves?
Yes. As God’s child, having accepted Christ as my savior, He rescues me from my sins. He keeps my soul, and never lets go. He never slumbers nor sleeps. He will not allow my foot to slip.
How can that be? I “slip” all the time. Yes, because I choose to. Christ died to set me free from the bondage of sin. In my pride, I take matters into my own hands and step away from God. It is only then that I stumble.
The amazing thing to me is that no matter how many times I step away from Him, He always forgives me and keeps my soul. (My flesh may be subject to the things of this world, but not my soul.) I am part of the church - the bride of Christ. Every time I step away from Him it’s like committing adultery. How many times would you forgive your spouse for cheating on you? He forgives me every time - and still protects me. This blows my mind every time I think on it.
How can I not be thankful for God keeping my soul?