By Doug Lohrey, Colorado Baptists, CFO
Back in High School, many years ago, a soccer team member consistently asked me to try out for the team. I told that person that I knew nothing about soccer. You had to dribble the ball with your feet…. that concept was so foreign to me. I played basketball where you dribble with your hands, but that person told me I needed to play goal keeper and that position is called “the keeper.” I asked what I have to do as the keeper and his reply was, “You must stop the other team from kicking the ball into our net. You’re our last line of defense! When we fail, you cover all of our mistakes!” I then asked, “Why do you think that I can do this job?” He proceeded to list a litany of reasons which for this article need not be known.
As I have traveled through this COVID 19 season I have had all kinds of mixed emotions. Frustration, anger, disappointment, and others, but I ran across a Psalm that really touched my heart, mind, and soul. Its theme is “The Keeper.”
1I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;(English Standard Version)
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
In Psalm 121 the word “keep” or “keeper” is used 6 times in this short chapter. I thought this word must mean something to the author. In verse 1, the author utters a plea, “from where does my help come?”. I thought to myself, “Where is my help going to come from during this strange and crazy time that we are living in?” As I read further it was very clear, my help comes from the keeper. In verse 2, the author identifies this person, “my help comes from the Lord.” Of course, that is where my help comes from during this crazy time in my life. It made a very big difference in how I see and approach every day during this season.
What does this word “keep” or “keeper” mean in the Hebrew? It is a person who manages or looks after someone. A guardian, protector, defender, bodyguard. A person who has the best in mind for another person. When I saw this definition I thought, “Yep, that’s what I need, both now in the COVID-19 situation and ALL the time”, but I saw a couple of other truths in the chapter.
First, He is my stabilizing keeper. Look at verse 3, “He will not let your foot be moved.” I like that he is my stabilizer and my foundation. When my daughter was growing up, I remember a time when we were doing some climbing. She was not the bravest of all people, so as she climbed above me she would put her foot down and then I would cover it with my hand. She climbed right up the bank and I thought about how my God is my stabilizing source. I can trust him to do this at all times, even now.
Second, He is my consistent keeper. There are other truths, but let’s jump right down to verses 7 and 8. Look at what it says, “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Can it be any clearer? He is our consistent keeper from evil. He will keep our life. He will keep you while going out (with the mask on) and he will keep you as you stay in (stay at home). I think that I have an amazing keeper.
This chapter in Psalm has really helped me during this period of time. Just something simple from one person to another. HE IS MY KEEPER. He will deflect the shots of life!