Thursday, December 1, 2005

Yahweh Shamar: The LORD Your Keeper

The LORD is your keeper …
The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
  He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
  From this time forth, and even forevermore.
(Psalm 121:5, 7-8)
We find the Hebrew root shamar, six times in this psalm, translated as “keep” or “preserve.”

  • He who keeps you (v. 3).
  • He who keeps Israel (v. 4).
  • The LORD is your keeper (v. 5).
  • The LORD shall preserve you from all evil (v. 7).
  • He shall preserve your soul (v. 7).
  • The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in (v. 8).
I think that the LORD is trying to tell us something! In fact, He brings it out quite strongly in His name, Yahweh Shamar — The LORD Your Keeper. (Notice that the word “is” in verse 5 is in italics. This signifies that it has no basis in the text, but was added by the translators.)

The word “LORD” (all caps) represents the Hebrew word Yahweh, the personal name of God by which He reveals Himself in covenant with His people. By the name Yahweh Shamar, God has covenanted to watch over His people to protect and preserve them.
  • The LORD keeps you, both individually and as a part of His corporate people (vv. 3-4).
  • The LORD will keep you from all evil (v. 7). Jabez prayed to the LORD to preserve Him from evil, and was powerfully blessed by God (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). The Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “Deliver us from evil.”
  • The LORD will keep your soul. The “soul” is not just the immaterial part of a person, but is often used to refer to your entire being. The Bible says that God will sanctify and preserve us completely — spirit, soul and body — at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
  • The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in — from now on. God is just as able to take care of us in a foreign land or right under our own roof, and all points in between. He covers us in our daily routine and at all hours.
Look to the LORD to watch over and keep you in every area of life. He is committed to you — are you committed to Him?

(For more about the LORD your keeper, meditate on these verses: Psalm 12:7; 41:2; 97:10; 116:6; 145:20; 146:9.)