Psalm 121:3-4 - The Verses Project

Bible Psalm 121:3-4

Posted February 17, 2015

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.

This is our second week of memorizing Psalm 121. Last week we saw that the pilgrim’s only hope was not to look inwardly or outwardly for help, but rather upwardly, to God Himself. No created thing on earth can be a savior to us, only our Creator. These next verses build on this truth, while laying out reasons we can trust in this Creator of the heavens and the earth. While verses 1-2 the psalmist was calling himself to lift his eyes to God, the psalmist expands his audience, inviting us to join him on his journey and includes us in on the promises given to those who put their trust in God!

The Foot Stabilizer

One of the pilgrim’s dangers on these journeys was of injury caused by slipping or loose rocks underneath their feet. All of life is within God’s providential care; life is full of little uncertainties and unexpected steps and slips. Here stands a promise that God will get the traveler where he or she is going no matter the danger, big or small. These difficulties might not be people sinning against you, but rather the hardships of life. Spurgeon wisely commented, “Our feet shall move in progress, but they shall not be moved to their overthrow.” We needn't worry, God is over even the smallest of details! He will get you to where He promises to take you.

The Ever-Alert Keeper

If He is the One that makes our steps firm, is there ever a moment where He’s not watching? Is He ever on a lunch break or distracted? The second line of verse 3 clears that up for us. He who keeps us (our Keeper) will not slumber. The travelers en route to Jerusalem might find themselves tired and afraid, but the God of these travelers was not. It’s hard to not read these lines and think of Elijah’s interactions with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. It was a showdown of sorts between the God of Israel and Baal. The stories surrounding Baal taught of his propensity for drunken orgies, and in turn, a difficulty in waking him up. Not the God of Israel! Not only is He holy, perfect, and powerful, but He is also attentive, ever-present, and all-focused. He doesn’t have a short attention span or get overwhelmed by problems. He never falls asleep at the wheel. He is Creator, after all! To a finite, weak, and vulnerable people, this comes as good news. We needn’t fear shadows, exhaustion, bandits, or turns for the worse in the weather. God watches and keeps us perfectly. Not only does He watch individuals perfectly (“keeps you”), but He watches over His people perfectly (“keeps Israel”); He is trustworthy.

Spurgeon elaborated on this idea of God as our keeper: “He that keepeth thee will not slumber,—or "thy keeper shall not slumber". We should 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 body guard 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.”

Friends, may you walk in peace today knowing your very steps are under God’s watchful eye and protecting hand. May you sleep in peace knowing God never slumbers but ever looks over you for your good.

Credits

Song by Charlie Hall.
Recorded & mixed by Dustin Ragland.
Artwork by Lauren Miller.