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A Devotional

By Roger Salter
February 2, 2018

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

The believer ponders or perceives hills. He is reliant upon God, perhaps in a mood of anxiety, insecurity, or pending trial of some sort. Perhaps he is being confessional and encouraging of others. But whatever he affirms is of enormous and lasting consolation to every child of God. The hills may suggest the strength of God in his work of creation. They are strong and elevated and may be symbolic of the power of God and the firmness of his promises.

It is likely that the author may be on the verge of a journey and has to traverse the hills and he is thinking of the dangers of robbers besetting him.

Whatever the thoughts that inspire him the poet is placing his confidence in the Lord who extends kindness and protection to his people and ably governs all that is in heaven and earth. Nowhere is the petitioner beyond the divine Presence or aid.

He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber or sleep.

In his providence and wise provision of continual welfare for his chosen ones the Lord is never off-duty. He will keep his folk steady and on the right track. They need not falter. The Lord does not doze off or waver in attentiveness. He keeps his people on the basis of twenty-four hour guard duty. Nothing escapes or eludes his eye. He is unresting, does not require refreshment,
he traces every step of those he loves, and covers them with his close hand.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall, not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

A double assurance is pronounced by the psalmist. Be certain. Our God determines to keep us. We are held by him and nothing can tear us away from him. Every moment he is watchful. Even his servant Mr Sun will not be permitted to scorch us. Sun stroke is ruled out though the noontide rays are full strength and withering without cover. God carefully, considerately, affords shade with his interposing hand as a barrier and his soft breath as a coolant.

Even the harmless beams of the moon will be softened into a gentle nocturnal kiss from gilded beams. In ancient times it was thought by some cultures that the moon was a harbinger of malicious spirits and ill-fortune. Such superstition is swept away by our faithful saint of old. Day and night divine concern follows, accompanies, and precedes God's people - the individual, or "corporate Israel", the company of the redeemed.

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 time forth and forevermore.

Our going out (from birth) to our coming in (home-going to heaven), every minute of the life of the elect, is diligently observed, and our immortal soul preserved, whatever eventuates upon our earthly pilgrimage - all dismay discarded.

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