The Lord Is My Keeper

“May the Lord bless you and keep you”, the familiar Aaronic Blessing in Numbers 6:24-26, is considered one of the most beautiful blessings in the Bible, and perhaps the most widely-used benediction. 

The word ‘keep’ is translated as ‘shamar’ in Hebrew, and found in Genesis 3:14 where the Lord sets a ‘guard’, a cherubim and a flaming sword, at the entrance of Eden to protect the Tree of Life. It communicates the idea that God is keeping, caring for, and protecting His children.

Psalm 121 ends with an echo of the Aaronic Blessing and, in particular, God keeping His people. ‘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.’ Psalm 121:7-8

The Old Testament saints rested in their vision of an Almighty God whose all-powerful, unseen army was assembled for their protection. David boasted, ‘The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: and the Lord is among them…’ Psalm 68:17. According to the psalmist, they’re enlisted for us – ‘The Lord is my keeper’ (Psalm 121:5).

Jesus prayed to the Father concerning His disciples, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those thou has given me I have kept, and none of them is lost” (John 17:12).

The disciples did not keep themselves but by God’s mighty power. They couldn’t make it through a single day without Christ’s keeping power.

Peter said, “We are kept by the power of God through faith, unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). I see in this verse a prophecy that God is once more, in these last days, going to reveal His keeping power to the saints.

I’ve experienced and heard many testimonies of those kept and protected by God’s keeping power during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A well-known account in the Bible had King Solomon ruling between two women claiming to be the mother of a baby. Both lived in the same house, and cared for their infant sons. Tragically, one baby died, resulting in each woman identifying the remaining infant as her own. 

Solomon tried to solve this conflict by suggesting they cut the baby in two, with each woman receiving half. One mother was content with his proposal, saying that if she couldn’t have the baby, then none should. However, the other woman pleaded, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

With true feelings revealed, Solomon could discern the true mother from the fraud. The one begged that her son be spared and gave in to her rival did so because only a true mother would go to the lengths of giving up her baby and risk her life if that’s what it takes to save the baby’s life.

That’s the picture of God’s keeping power. Jesus, like the real mother, sacrificed His life to keep His child safe. Sin and death have literally pried open His loving hands, bound and nailed Him on the cross to keep Him away from His child.

But death could not hold Him and the grave did not keep Him. Let us run into His loving arms, and enter a covenant with the Everlasting and Omnipotent Father afresh.

In great helplessness, but great restfulness, place ourselves in His hands. He is our Saviour and Keeper. He’ll not let His children slip or fall.  We’re held in the palm of His hands.  

The Everlasting God is going to be our Companion, holding our hand every moment; our Keeper, watching over us without a moment’s interval; our Father, delighting to reveal Himself in our souls always.

He has the power to let the sunshine of His love be with us all day. Andrew Murray shared this lesson – the natural sun shines upon you all day, and you enjoy its light. Wherever you are, you have the sun; God takes care that it shines on you. And God ensures that His divine light shines on you, that you shall abide in that light, if you will only trust Him.

May we trust God to do that with a great and total trust.

Moment by moment, I’m kept in His love; 
Moment by moment, I’ve life from above; 
Looking to Jesus, the glory doth shine; 
Moment by moment, Oh Lord, I am Thine!

Hymn “Moment By Moment” –  D. W. Whittle

‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.’


Pastor Timothy Chong

God’s Way

Christianity was originally called ‘the Way’ by the people of first century Palestine. Acts 19:23 tells us, ‘About that time, there arose a great commotion about the Way’; and in Acts 9:2, Paul had gone to Damascus to find ‘any who were of the Way.’

Testifying both to the crowd in Jerusalem, and later to the governor Felix at his trial, Paul referred to Christ’s followers as ‘the Way’ both in public and official proceedings (Acts 22:4; 24:14,22). It was many years later that the term ‘Christian’ replaced ‘the Way’ as the common term for followers of Christ.

That the Early Church was called ‘the Way’ is more than incidental. People witnessed something about their way – the way they walked, served, built community, and shared things in common. 

It was their lifestyle, i.e. their way of life, the values espoused, by read more…

Never, Never, Never Give Up!

There’s an interesting passage in Mark 7 where Jesus walked all the way from where He was in Galilee, and northward towards Tyre and Sidon. This was Gentile territory, in what we know today as Lebanon.

It was a long distance by foot. He went there and seemingly all that happened was a Syrophoenician woman, whose daughter was demon-possessed, came to Jesus and pestered Him to cast out the demon from her daughter. And the Lord completely disregarded her request.

Instead, He said to her that it was not good to throw the children’s bread to the dogs. Ouch! The woman was unperturbed by this insult. She had thick skin. So she replied, “Yes, but even the little dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs!”

The Lord read more…

Is He Useful or Worthy?

At our first Revival and Healing service in March, I remember approaching God’s Presence with great expectation, yet having a weighty issue at the back of my mind as I worshipped.

I was hoping that one of our ministry team would release a word of knowledge that would speak directly to my situation. But, as we lingered in worship, the Lord spoke clearly to me and asked, “Are you drawing near because I’m useful or because you love Me?”

“Am I useful or am I worthy?”

Something shifted in my heart and I was immediately reminded of the goodness of God in my life. At that moment, I just abandoned myself in worship and chose to draw near because He was worthy of it all.

Later, on my way home in a taxi, I was reminded read more…

Follow The Finisher

During this Holy Week, Christians across the globe reflect on the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ while the Jewish community observes the pesach, which is the Feast of Passover, on Friday.

On a more personal note, I set aside time yearly to read and reflect on the account of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion in the Synoptic Gospels. During my reflection, I was astonished by three simple and final words of Jesus, “It is finished.” John 19:30
 
Our Saviour was on the Cross for about six hours before dying. Those six hours must have felt like 6,000 years at some point and, when He knew that it was over, he cried out, “It is finished!” He did not say, “I am finished” for that would imply that He died defeated and exhausted.
 
The Bible says He drew a deep breath and shouted with a read more…

Living From The Inside Out

There was a season in my life, for a few years, where I’d experience tangible manifestations of God’s Presence. It was almost as though I’d feel Him tangibly in my physical senses. 

I’d shake under the power of God, laugh when His Spirit touched me, and feel the force of His power when I prayed for people. I enjoyed this season immensely as it made me realise His nearness and reality, and the realm of the supernatural.

Then, it all stopped.

I still feel His Presence sporadically, but never in the intensity of that season. For a long time, I wondered if I had done something wrong. Was there sin in my life that cut me off from His Presence? I didn’t know how to get back to that wonderful season. read more…

Question and Answer

It’s funny how, after 2,000 years, there are things that happened in the days of Jesus that continue today. Of course, the form in which these things happened may have changed somewhat but the essence remains the same. Take Matthew 22:15-48 for example – in today’s vernacular, this would be a ‘Q&A’ session.
 
I’m quite certain that Jesus would’ve been confronted by many questions during His ministry. I assume the bulk of these would actually be requests – “Do this for me”, “heal me”, “Help!”, “provide for me”, “let me sit at your right hand”, etc. The requests would’ve been endless.

However, this passage of Scripture isn’t your typical application for assistance. Instead, it’s a series of questions meant to test Jesus. The intent in all likelihood was malicious and meant to catch Him in His words read more…

How Much Truth Can We Bear?

Jesus was a master at losing people. If you recall, there was a time when the crowds that followed Him were huge. Many were there because they had heard of the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish, so they flocked to Him in the tens of thousands.

But Jesus had no intention of allowing anyone to follow Him just for the benefits they could get. So He said the most provocative thing in Scripture, “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.”

No explanations given. No apologies made. No ifs or buts. For the majority of the crowd, that was just too much. They came for the free bread and now ‘He’s asking us to be cannibals!?’ So, in just one sermon, He lost almost His entire congregation. As fast as read more…

The Angelic Miracles

Recently, my daughter said excitedly at the dinner table, “I think I met an angel today.” She went on to ask, “Dad, do you think it’s an angel?” I tried to hold back my theological exposition of angels and listened attentively. She shared, “I lost my way and one kind soul just pointed me to the right direction and, when I looked back to thank him, he had disappeared.”

Simple or non-spectacular this may sound, I reckon this is an angelic miracle which we so often miss in our daily lives. My youngest daughter exclaimed with excitement, “I believe it’s an angel!” as she was taught from young that a guardian angel was assigned to protect her (Matthew 18:10). And they don’t always appear with wings and swords.

It takes a child-like faith to believe and see, contrary to what the world proclaims that read more…

The Sacred Place of Solitude

I’m a relational introvert. This may sound like an oxymoron but, to put it simply, I love being with people. But not all the time – I need space and time alone to recharge my emotional batteries.

Let’s be honest, being with people can sometimes be draining. Yet some of us are constantly in the presence of people, needs, demands, and expectations.

Our children are pulling us, our family needs emotional support, friends look for help. The groups we lead look for direction, our work schedules are filled with meetings and events. Some reading this may even be on the edge emotionally.

We can’t remember the last time we were alone, sitting or kneeling before God in solitude. Before we know it, we start losing perspective and burnout knocks on our door.

Not much effective ministry read more…

The Best and Worst of Times

In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote the novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, and began with these contrasting words:

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredibility, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.’

He was referring to 1775 – the time of the French Revolution.

Sometimes, it looks like the kingdom of darkness is prevailing. And, if we’re honest, it does seem like every time we turn on the news, things are getting from bad to worse.

That’s true of a fallen and broken world where we see both beauty and pain coinciding beside each read more…

Lovin’ the Dove

I’ve always loved birds. I’ve had canaries, parakeets, chickens, ducks, geese, and even an owl as pets. My children have often collected feathers for me because they know how much I appreciate them. Now my grandchildren do it as well.

I take comfort in knowing that many of God’s servants, including King David (Psalm 50:11) and even Jesus (Matthew 6:26), shared my interest. You see, they were bird lovers too.

John the Baptist watched, fascinated, as the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus ‘like a dove’. Raised in urban, ancient Egypt, Moses was forever impacted by a bird scene he most likely observed while spending weeks on the mount with God.

Perhaps no verse in the entire Bible captures the nature of the Holy Spirit more than this one. Let me break it down.

As an eagle stirs up its nest, read more…

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