Friday, 11 September 2020
Title: He shall preserve your soul
By: Ps Cheng Cheung
Psalm 121:7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul
Psalm 121 is one of a collection of Psalms known as the Songs of Ascents, used by pilgrims journeying to annual religious festivals. Worshippers sang these hymns on their way to the temple on Mount Zion or en route to a holy observance in Jerusalem.
”I will lift up my eyes to the hills”
The singer of this psalm looked to the hills, likely the distant hills of Jerusalem as he travelled toward the city to fulfil his pilgrimage. However, his gaze did not stop when he looked upward to the hills but he looked beyond them to God, who made the mountains. He is still far from the appointed place of worship, and lifts his eyes toward the distant mountains.
He is not far from Jehovah, however. He knows he is in Jehovah’s keeping, even though far from the centre of external worship. The thought that he is safe is wonderfully reassuring to the psalmist; moreover, help for distressed souls comes from Jehovah, maker of heaven and earth. He understood that the group didn’t need to arrive at Jerusalem before they came under God’s protective care. The Lord would watch over them on the journey. God is just as present during the journey as He would be once they reached their destination.
”1 From whence comes my help?”
These words pose a timeless question for humankind. They echo the deep need, and for some, the most pressing anxieties, of our hearts. How desperately we need help. How utterly limited are our personal resources. How great are our needs and concerns. Personally, this could not be more true: There are sacred tasks for which I feel so inadequate. There are those who are dear to me for whom I carry a heavy burden. There are those who look to me for encouragement in their walk with Jesus – I must not fail them. There are daily tasks for which I need much wisdom. ”From whence comes my help?” Does this sound familiar, fellow brethren?
How do I take my frail and finite bag of bones and flesh and put it in Your mighty Hands? How do I do this so that you will be my Helper and my Keeper? Show me, O mighty Jehovah.
The journey the pilgrims were on often took weeks and danger lurked everywhere. At night, a sentry would be posted to keep guard over the band of travellers. Robbers were a real threat and there was always the possibility that the human sentry, weary from a full day of travel, would fall asleep. However, we are assured that the divine Sentry of our soul is always watching over us. Brothers and sisters, here is the Lord’s assurance that He will protect us and guard us from the enemies of our souls. The Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps.
”3 He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep”
Finally, despite its appearance, verse 7, ”The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.” does not promise we will be spared from difficulties, danger or even premature death. History is full of accounts of God’s servants who have succumbed to illness or even suffered martyrdom for the cause of the Gospel. A careful reading of the verse shows its true, deeper meaning. It is no coincidence that the phrase, ”The Lord shall keep/preserve you,” appears six times in this short psalm. He may not preserve us from difficulty, but He will preserve us from evil, and He will even bring blessing out of the brokenness of our lives. The point is that no sickness, no adversity, no enemy, can harm or snatch away your soul from God’s grasp because God has given His word that He shall preserve His own.
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, may your Name be praised. I feel secure in your love and care, despite my inadequacies. Thank you that I am loved not because of any merit I possess but because of grace and your great immeasurable love.
Help me remember that I am a pilgrim, a wayfaring stranger a-passing through this land. Help me in my quest to encourage as many as possible to join me in my journey.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
这话提到了人类流传百世的问题。它们反映出我们内心的深切需求，对有些人来说，也是心中最紧迫的焦虑。我们多么迫切需要帮助。我们的个人资源是多么有限。我们的需求和关注是多么巨大。就我个人而言，这再正确不过了：我觉得自己多方面不够格，无法胜任一些神圣的工作。还有那些我亲爱的人，我为他们背负沉重的负担。 有些人在与耶稣同行的过程中依赖我来鼓励他们—我绝不能辜负他们。每天的日常工作，我需要很多智慧。 “我的帮助从何而来？”弟兄姐妹们，这听起来是否熟悉？
朝圣者的旅程往往需要数周时间，危险无处不在。 到了晚上，一个哨兵将被派驻，保卫路途中的队伍。 强盗是一个真正的威胁，而且哨兵经过一整天的旅途，疲倦了总会睡着。 然而，我们确信，我们神圣的灵魂哨兵总是在看顾着我们。 弟兄姐妹们，这是主的保证，他会保护我们，免受我们灵魂敌人的伤害。 主既不打盹，也不睡觉。