IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: FEAR NOT! HE THAT KEEPETH THEE NEITHER SLEEPS NOR SLUMBERS
COMPILED EDITED BY:-
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“Behold, the Protector of Israel will not slumber or sleep.”
Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The words “slumber” and “sleep” are not climactic. Indeed, the Hebrew word for “slumber” is the stronger term of the two. There is no more in the setting of the two terms than poetical repetition. The one peril of the night-watchman is that he might be overcome with sleep.
He that keeps you will not slumber. We would not stand a moment if our keeper were to sleep; we need him by day and by night; not a single step can be safely taken except under his guardian eye. This is a choice stanza in a pilgrim song. God is the convoy and bodyguard of his saints. When dangers are awake around us we are safe, for our Preserver is awake also, and will not permit us to be taken unawares. No fatigue or exhaustion can cast our God into sleep; his watchful eyes are never closed.
Sleep is an odd thing really. Have you ever thought about it? I think about it from time to time. Why did God make us so that we need to sleep? I’m assuming that God could have made us differently, but he didn’t.
We spend 1/3 of our lives asleep
A person of 70 years has slept 204,400 hours
Yet without sleep, we get sick, mentally ill and we will even die.
When we sleep we are weak and vulnerable. So in Old Testament times you needed a watchman who stayed up during the night to look out for enemies and attack. Even if you lived in a walled city, there needed to be watchmen on the wall.
The night is also a time of evil. We know that “darkness” is used as an image of evil in Scripture. And we know that we are more susceptible to fear of the demonic at night.
But my point today is that God doesn’t sleep. This comes from our Scripture reading – “He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” – Psalm 121:3-4
“I WILL LIFT UP MINE 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 FOR EVERMORE.”
What a precious promise to encourage His people. Not only will He be with you as you face life’s uncertainties, but He will take care of those things that might harm you that you are unaware of.
Of late, God has been increasingly bringing to my mind fellow believers who are in the midst of great trials or facing great challenges. Here is one other encouragement. Not only does He promise to be with us in life’s difficulties, not only does he handle adversaries we are completely unaware of, but He also stirs the hearts of your brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for you. Think upon that!
“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” —Psalm 121:3-4
He will not let your foot be moved. Though the paths of life are dangerous and difficult, yet we shall stand secure, for Jehovah will not permit our feet to slide; and if he will not suffer it we shall not suffer it. If our foot will be thus kept we may be sure that our head and heart will be preserved also.
Now false gods may sleep . . . in that they don’t answer or respond to people. Remember the story of Elijah? He challenged the priests of Baal and they all gathered together to see which god would answer by sending fire to consume the offerings. And when the priests of Baal called out nothing happened. And so Elijah taunted them saying of Baal – “Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened” – 1 Kings 18:27.
The true God may seem to be asleep in that God doesn’t appear to hear us. As the Psalmist prays – “Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!” – Psalm 44:23. And there are times when we struggle with God in prayer and with God’s will and timing. And we ask, “Is God listening?!”
But, as our text tells us . . .
God Doesn’t Sleep!
God is always active and busy for our well being
God is awake and working, even while we sleep.
God is never asleep in the sense that he ceases to consider us. I do not know whether you can catch the thought, so as to lay hold of it by faith; but we have an instance of it in the 40th Psalm, where David says, “I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me.” When? Now? Yes. To-morrow? Yes. And yesterday? Yes. He was always thinking upon us; and he is always thinking upon us. The infinite mind of God can think of all things at once. You and I, in thinking of one thing, often forget another; but it is not so with God. He is so great that his centre is everywhere, and his circumference is nowhere; and you, dear brother or sister, may be the very centre of God’s thoughts, and so may I; and all his redeemed may at the same moment have his thoughts fixed upon each one of them. Can you realize the wondrous truth that there never is a moment, night or day, in which the great mind of the Eternal ceases to think of you? Then, how safe you are with God always looking upon you! How happy you ought to be with God always thinking of you! Yea, how joyful you ought to be because, even if others forget you, he never does!
It is wise to look to the strong for strength. Dwellers in valleys are subject to many disorders for which there is no cure but a sojourn in the uplands, and it is well when they shake off their lethargy and resolve upon a climb. Down below they are the prey of marauders, and to escape from them the surest method is to fly to the strongholds upon the mountains. Often before the actual ascent the sick and plundered people looked towards the hills and longed to be upon their summits. The holy man who here sings a choice sonnet looked away from the slanderers by whom he was tormented to the Lord who saw all from his high places, and was ready to pour down succour for his injured servant. Help comes to saints only from above, they look elsewhere in vain: let us lift up our eyes with hope, expectance, desire, and confidence. Satan will endeavour to keep our eyes upon our sorrows that we may be disquieted and discouraged; be it ours firmly to resolve that we will look out and look up, for there is good cheer for the eyes, and they that lift up their eyes to the eternal hills shall soon have their hearts lifted up also. The purposes of God; the divine attributes; the immutable promises; the covenant, ordered in all things and sure; the providence, predestination, and proved faithfulness of the Lord.
May God calm your fears. May God give you peace. Remember friend, you can actually cast your care upon Him because He cares for you. He feels for you in your calamities. Run to Him as a child runs to its mother. He is with you to face it and He will see you through. Because He will keep you, surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.
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