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.

每日灵粮
星期五,2020年9月11日
标题:他要保护你的性命
讲员:张祯祥传道
翻译:梁玉萍姐妹

诗121:7 耶和华要保护你免受一切的灾害,他要保护你的性命。

诗篇121是称为“上行之诗”的诗篇之一,供前往每年宗教节日的朝圣者使用。在前往锡安山的圣殿或前往耶路撒冷的神圣纪念仪式途中, 敬拜者都会唱这些赞美诗。

“我要向山举目。”

这首诗篇的诗人向山举目,可能是遥远的耶路撒冷山丘,因为他前往这城市朝圣。然而,当他抬头向山举目,他的目光并没有停止在山上,而是越过山丘,仰望那造山的上帝。他离所指定的敬拜地点还很远,他举目观看遥远的山脉。

然而,他离耶和华并不远。尽管离外在敬拜的地点很远,他知道上帝看守他。一想到他是安全的,就让诗人放心了; 此外,创造天地的耶和华帮助苦恼的人。他明白,这群人不需要到达耶路撒冷才能受到上帝的保护。主会在旅途中照顾他们。无论他们是在旅途中,或是到达目的地后,上帝是与他们同在的。

“我的帮助从何而来?”

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?

我怎样才能把我脆弱而又有限的身体, 并把它放在你大能的手中?我该怎么做,让你成为我的帮助者,我的守护者?哦,大能的耶和华,指示我。

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。

“他必不叫你的脚摇动,保护你的必不打盹。保护以色列的也不打盹,也不睡觉。”

最后,尽管第7节说道“耶和华要保护你免受一切的灾害,他要保护你的性命”,它却不能保证我们会摆脱困难,危险甚至过早死亡。历史充满了上帝仆人的叙述,他们因福音的原故而病,甚至殉难。仔细阅读这首诗,说明它的真实、更深的含义。”耶和华要保护你”这句话在这稍短的诗篇中出现了六次,这并非巧合。他也许不能保护我们摆脱困境,但他会保护我们免受邪恶的侵害,他甚至会从我们破碎的生命带来祝福。关键是,没有任何疾病、逆境或敌人可以从上帝的掌握中伤害或夺走你的灵魂,因为上帝已经应许他会保护属他的。

今日的祷告

仁慈的上帝,愿你的名得到称颂。尽管我不够格,但我在你的爱和关怀中感到安全。谢谢你,我之所以被爱,并不是因为我拥有任何的优点,而是因为你的恩典和巨大无比的爱。帮助我记住,我是一个朝圣者,一个穿越这片土地的陌生人。帮助我竭尽所能鼓励他人加入我的旅程。奉耶稣的名祷告,阿们。

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