Psalm 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
The Psalmist continued to exalt the LORD in this Psalm. It was important for Israel to be reminded of the rightful place of the LORD in the days of the Psalmist. It is equally important for Israel to learn the rightful place of the LORD today. Tragically, Israel is still blinded today. By application, we as Gentiles can also know that God will keep the soul of the true child of God for all eternity.
As the Gentile world witnesses what is going on in Israel and the surrounding area today, it is important for us to also learn the importance of knowing and trusting the true God.
Church history tells us that there have always been heresies in New Testament times. We will not go into detail on those, but we know that the multiplicity of different religions today speaks to the fact that most people accept a religion that has some similarity to what they already believe.
In the Bible we find that the Truth is the opposite of the lie. In post Bible times, we find that many more people cannot identify what truth actually is.
The good news is that the LORD is thy keeper. The Hebrew word translated as “keeper” means “guard.” The LORD will guard His child against the lies of the devil. He will also protect His child in other ways; however, we do know that many God-fearing people have been killed by the enemies of God. We cannot take the position of the Charismatics and distort what God says. The Scriptures are clear that since the fall of man, physical death is a reality for all. We are all born spiritually dead, but we can be made spiritually alive through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Most of the apostles died as martyrs. They did not die of natural causes. Many other born again Christians have died violent deaths as well. However, all those who walk in the fear of the LORD, have been granted eternal life and their souls are safe in God. Their bodies will be resurrected one day and their souls will be reunited with their resurrected bodies and they will spend eternity with the LORD in their glorified bodies.
The Bible shows us that the devil is the enemy of God and he wastes his time seeking to destroy those who believe in the true God. The Bible tells us that his goal is to seek to destroy God. This is a futile effort. There is suffering in our world today due to the fall of man. In the midst of that suffering, the true child of God is kept by the LORD.
The LORD is also “thy shade upon thy right hand.” The Hebrew word translated as “shade” means “defence”. We know that God provided a gourd to give shade, or a defence against the sun, to Jonah as he sat outside of Nineveh, awaiting God’s destruction of that place. The word there is translated as “shadow.” Jonah appreciated that shadow which shielded him from the heat of the sun. Jonah did not appreciate that God also desired to be the deliverer for the Ninevites. God desired to see those people know His forgiveness and truth.
The true child of God can find protection in God from the attacks of the devil. It is not always easy to be mocked and slandered for the cause of Christ. Our flesh certainly does not like that. We can become discouraged in our spirit as well. As we get into God’s Word and as we are faithful in a true church, we will find the help we need in the midst of the attacks from the devil.
In verse 6 we see that the sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. God used these natural illustrations to bring home the greater spiritual point. The sun can be quite hot in the summer time. It will soon dry the person out. In Israel there is much open land and it is not difficult to get caught out in the sun with no shade in sight. At night when it cools down, it can be quite cool if the person is not prepared for the night out. In Bible times, they did not have vehicles to travel in and in walking, you do not always make good progress. A person might get caught between cities with no place to find shelter at night. It was not always safe to travel further at night and the person would need to find a place to shelter for the night.
The Psalmist was directed by God to use this illustration to remind the reader that God is always there for His child.
In verse 7 we see the spiritual application of this illustration. The LORD is always there to keep His child from yielding to evil.
We know that king David always found God’s protection sufficient for his every need, whether it was in keeping his father’s sheep or in facing Goliath, or in running from king Saul for over a year, or as the king of Israel. Whenever David was caught in sin, it was because he did not trust in the LORD. The LORD was gracious toward him and willing to restore him to a right relationship with Him when he would confess his sin to the LORD. David was different than king Saul in this. King Saul only admitted to sin when he was caught and could not cover up his sin. He demonstrated a lack of desire in changing. King David tried to cover up his sin, but found he could not do so and he desired to be cleansed of his sin. He did not want a bandaid over his sin. He wanted to be cleansed of his sin.
In verse 8 the LORD further reminds us that He preserves the way of His child for ever. When His child looks to the hills from whence his help comes, he can rest assured that God will protect him. God’s promises are always within a context. They are never blanket statements that guarantee protection no matter what.
King David discovered this. He found God’s protection to be there for him, however, when he did not follow God’s way, he sinned. He caused problems for himself and for his family and for the nation of Israel.
As we have mentioned before, God’s record of the Old Testament is there for our learning. We cannot suggest that we are better than the Old Testament saints. We, those who are saved, will fall when we do not look to the hills for our help. When we do not look to the LORD and trust in Him, we will find ourselves caught in a mess. For us “the hills” are found in the Word of God. We look into His Word and He provides all the answers and all the help that we need. The good news is that, for the saved, God is gracious and He shows us the way back to where we need to be if we want to know His peace and blessing. For the lost, He shows the way of salvation and blessing from that moment forward.