Thursday, November 3, 2016

I have to go to the KJV because it is the one I memorized...

These photos are of my favorite mountains in Colorado,
places I've been whether by car, jeep, or hiking.

"I will lift up my eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.
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.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even forever more."

Now this is a goose-bumbie Psalm. I might not get goosebumps on my arms, but I get them in my heart when I read this.  It's probably in the top ten of favorite Psalms.  That's why I was taught to memorize it.  What happens after you memorize Scripture, is that it goes into a memory bank and its interest grows and adds value to its deposit.  As you go through life, it will benefit you as an asset when withdrawn in times of need.  Believe you me, I had some needy times when I clutched the promises of this verse in my sweaty little hands that made my heart go pitter patter pat.

The Psalmist doesn't actually say that the mountains are his help, but as he looks up to something above him, he realizes where his help comes from, the

Lord himself.  I love the mountains!  I love the ocean too, but there is something about mountains that call to my soul, and this is probably why.  To be in the shadow, even in the valley, to look up to something so immense and realize there is something even greater than all this, the Creator God who made it all.

His help cometh.  God not only dwells above His creation, but He has come down to dwell among us.  When He returned to heaven, He left His Holy Spirit to indwell us as the Comforter and Helper.  Thus, behold!  Look!  We shall not be moved.  "The foundation, God's infinite power and goodness, on which thou standest, cannot be moved." (Adam Clarke)

He is our keeper who will not slumber nor sleep.  "The Divine Being represents Himself as a watchman, who takes care of the city and its inhabitants during the night watches; and who is never overtaken with slumbering or sleepiness." (Adam Clarke)

'Shall man below control great Jove above,
Whose eyes by all subding sleep
Are never closed, as feeble mortals are;
But still their watchful vigil keep,
Through the long circle of th'eternal year?'
(Franklin from the Antigone of Sophocles)

Lake Lousie

Matthew Henry speaks of God as our keeper like this...

"The shepherd of the flock is the shepherd of every sheep, and will take care that not one, even  of the little ones, shall perish.  He is a wakeful watchful keeper...He not only protects those whom He is the keeper of, but He refreshes them: He is their shade.  He is always near to His people for their protection and refreshment, and never at a distance; He is their keeper and shade on their right hand...He will keep them night and day."

This is the lush pastor the shepherds bring their flocks to graze.

"He is their shade."

Neither the day of prosperity nor the night of adversity shall hurt thee;
nor the heat of persecution, nor the coldness of friends or relatives:
all these shall work thy good...
Especially from every thing that might hurt thy soul.
'He shall preserve thy soul.'"
(Adam Clarke)

Matthew Henry says, "It may be understood figuratively: 'Thou shalt not be hurt either by the open assaults of thy enemies, which at as visible as the scorching beams of the sun, or by their secret treacherous attempts, which are like the insensible insinuations of the cold by night."
Why?  "The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, the evil of sin and the evil of trouble.  Even that which kills shall not hurt. " "He shall preserve thy soul."  He will keep thee in life and death, thy going out and going on while thou livest and thy coming in when thou diest, going out to thy labor in the morning of thy days and coming home to thy rest when the evening of old age calls thee in."

Some say more Christians have been martyred for their faith this past year than in all of history.  The four billion Christians in the Middle East numbers have gone down to forty thousand.  Pray that He will preserve their souls.

I rather hope that you have not experience as I have when the cloak of evil comes off, and its very presence is felt with a heavy darkness.  There have been moments in my life when I have felt such an outward presence.  It is chilling.  Usually evil is dressed up as something more becoming to be desired--disguised as angels of light--but there are times when it comes stripped bare bolding daring and taunting.  It is vial and ugly, but mostly a heavy presence that can send you to your knees to pray.  That's why Jesus taught us to pray, "Deliver us from evil."

We loved being here at Lake Louise, Canada in the snow this
time of year, Nov. 1, at a Billy Graham retreat for pastors.

I've told the story before of the morning after our family reading of this passage as I sat on the cement stoop leading out our back door in the Yreka Church parsonage to watch my three little ones play.  We had taken a plastic wading pool and filled it with sand for them.  "Mama, I saw a spider," one of them called.  So I went out and found that not only were they in their Tonka trucks, but under the lip of their round sandbox, black widows . After spraying to kill them with chills going up and down my spine, I then noticed that the crack at the door where I had been sitting also was found to host more black widow spiders.  The verse, "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in form this time forth," was especially pertinent.  God protected my little ones as well as myself as I watched over them at the very point of our going out and coming in.  That was a promise that I withdrew with interest for such a time as that.  "Even forevermore."


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