“He that keepeth thee will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:3)
Everyone needs that one person who “has your back,” especially in times of calamity. But who is equipped to fill this keeper role unilaterally and compassionately “by day [or] by night” (Psalm 121:6)?
The Hebrew word for “keeper” found in Psalm 121 is šāmar, meaning to guard or keep watch. David directs believers to look to that one Person who holds us fast, keeping watch over us. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD [Yahweh], which made heaven and earth” (v. 1). As pilgrims journeyed to Jerusalem to attend major temple feasts, they would sing and meditate on this Ascent Psalm, reminding themselves that their help came only from the Creator of the universe—Yahweh!
But this psalm is not just for David and these pilgrims. David changed the personal pronouns “I” and “my” in the first two verses to “thee” and “thy” in verses 3-8. David’s keeper is every believer’s keeper! All believers have Yahweh’s protection, underscored by His “keeping role” being repeated six times in the next five verses.
- “He that keepeth thee will not slumber” (v. 3).
- “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (v. 4).
- “The LORD is thy keeper” (v. 5).
- “The LORD shall [keep] thee from all evil” (v. 7a).
- “He shall [keep] thy soul” (v. 7b).
- “The LORD shall [keep] thy going out and thy coming in” (v. 8a).
Believer, be assured we have an eternal keeper “from this time forth, and even for evermore” (v. 8b). CM