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Daily Thought - Psalm 121: 3-4 – The Grandest Of Covenant Promises Are Yours

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. - Psalm 121: 3-4

    Continuing in Psalm 121 today we come to even grander promises from God in the key verses. I think sometimes in the day to grind of life we take for granted the promises God has made us, stripping them of their power in our life. If we look at the promises of God in some abstract intellectual way or as a system of theology, their power by default is somewhat muted. The object is not merely to be able to understand the promises but to believe in them in a way that transcends into our lives. So that when the world, the enemy or our flesh rise up against us, we fall back upon what we know deep in our core – not just what we understand. Let’s get into the promises in these two verses. The first promise is that God is infinitely concerned about the minutest detail of our lives. He is not some absentee landlord who we cannot get a hold of. In fact, more often than not He is waiting for us to turn to Him:

    ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ – Jeremiah 33: 3 (NIV)

    The key verses say that God will not even tolerate our foot to be moved. That is the promise when we build our lives upon the Solid Rock that is Jesus Christ. We should be immoveable against the forces working to undermine us.

    Secondly, God is the God that keeps us. He that keepeth thee, as the verse goes. God does not save us and then cast us aside to fend for ourselves. The dictionary defines keep as, “to be faithful, to preserve, and to tend to.” That is our God. He preserves us. The devil will try and convince you that you can fail your way out of God’s hand. God is not the God of a second chance but another chance. I know there are some who believe that salvation is somehow a tenuous notion but I do not believe the work of Jesus Christ is so weak that I can do something to undo it. Scripture agrees:

    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. – John 10: 28 (NIV)

    Let’s be fair – a lot of things try to snatch us out of His hand. But Jesus is very definitive here – NO ONE can snatch us from His hand once we have genuinely given our heart to Christ. The second part of the definition says God will tend to us. He desires for us to be a relationship with Him. Unfortunately, too many Christians seem to prefer to date God. See Him on the weekend, maybe a call every three days or so, but so serious commitment. That simply will not cut it. The power is in Christ, not in us. We have to be active in the relationship and then we will see God tend to us on a moment to moment basis.

    The third part of the definition says that God will be faithful to us. We live a world where faithfulness is mocked and derided. Divorce is celebrated. God is the God who keeps us beloved and no matter what we might do – He will remain faithful:

    if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. – 2Timothy 2: 13 (NIV)

    That is the God who keeps us beloved. But the Psalmist is far from done. He draws a distinction between sleep and slumber, saying the God we serve will do neither when it comes to being our God. The obvious one for us is sleep, which is a bodily necessity when we are no longer conscious of what is going on. God will never sleep. He is not restrained to the weaknesses of the body. He does not have to worry about falling asleep in the flesh. In Gethsemane, Jesus asked Peter, John and James to stay awake and pray…but they could not:

    Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – Matthew 26: 40-41 (NIV)

    God is Spirit and He is always willing to be watchful over our lives. But then there is also slumbering. The dictionary defines slumber as, “a state of inactivity, negligence or calm.” When it comes to God we are assured that He is never inactive in our lives. We may drift away from Him but He never leaves us nor forsakes us. We may become negligent in our relationship but he never has been. Read the Old Testament and see how many times God took Israel back after they were adulterous towards Him. Every time. The story of the prodigal son is really the story of the faithful Father. If we would simply turn back to Him, He will come running to meet us, place His ring back on our finger, and have a feast celebrating our return! Besides never being inactive or negligent, God is not calm when it comes to watching our lives. This does not mean God is panicking. It means that He is ever vigilant about us. We tend to get so worked up about such inconsequential things in this life. Our careers, money, even our favorite sports team! Yet when it comes to the things of God we can become too calm. Too lackadaisical. Too sloppy. The enemy is out there like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and I have seen him devour well intended but calm Christians. Yes, there should be an edge to our Christianity. We should be vigilant as God is with us.

    The last point God is making in the key verses today is found in the line, “he that keepeth Israel.” While it makes for beautiful poetry it has deeper meaning for us today. God is reaffirming His covenant. His covenant is with Israel. Likewise today the covenant is with the church. His church. His bride. The building you gather in on Sundays is not the church. The people inside of it are and they are in covenant with God. What does that mean? That means we are under contract with God Himself! When the shepherd boy David first confronted Goliath he referred to him as an uncircumcised Philistine because circumcision was the sign of the covenant. David knew that he was under contract with God and Goliath was not. Once he was able to affirm that, it did not matter how big Goliath was! We need to be careful we do not fall into “church worship” meaning overly focusing on the building rather than the people inside of the building. The building itself has no power and just like Jesus predicted the temple would lie in ruins, one day the buildings we meet in will too. Everything in this world moves on. But the covenant beloved – the covenant will last forever. God will not break His covenant. You want the grandest of grand promises, well here it is. God has entered into a mutually binding contract with you and He that keepeth thee – will neither slumber nor sleep. He will not even tolerate your foot to be moved! Reaffirm that covenant today. Walk in its assurances. Walk in its power.

    Rev. Anthony

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