What follows is an entry from the Family Devotion Guide for the families at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. You can access all the Family Devotion Guides, including this week’s (Week 34) by visiting the First Kids page.
“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.” –Psalm 121:5-6
Think of your absolute best friend. You know, that friend who would do anything for you; the one you play with, hang out with, and maybe even have over at your house for sleepovers. Would you say this friend cares for your when you are having a bad day? Is he or she there for you when you need someone to talk to? It is good to have a friend like this. We all need someone to have our back in a tough situation.
Well, God is the ultimate friend to his people. He will always have the backs of those who trust in him through Christ. Psalm 121:5-6 say, “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.” This passage teaches us that God will always guard his people.
The Lord is our keeper. This is another way of saying, “the Lord is our guardian.” He watches over his people. He knows what we will face and he even guides us by the hand into tomorrow. Some people believe Psalm 121 was written after the people of Israel were rescued from exile. Many years ago, other nations invaded Israel and took the people back to foreign countries. They were taken from their homes. God rescued them from exile and they returned to Jerusalem. This psalm was a great reminder for the people of Israel that their God would be their keeper or guardian no matter what happened to them. Even through God’s judgment, he never abandoned his people.
We have that same promise in the gospel. Jesus died to rescue his people from the exile of sin. Sin put chains on our hands and feet and took us from our home with God. Through his death on the cross, Jesus rescued us by breaking the chains of sin. By faith in him, we are no longer slaves of sin, but sons of God. Because of Jesus, God is our keeper. He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:2). God will always have our backs and will never let us go (John 10:28).
The Lord is also our shade. When this psalm was written, the people of Israel knew how deadly the sun could be. In that time, a hot, sunny day didn’t equal a fun day at the pool. It meant you better find some shade or you will die. A journey to Jerusalem when the sun was out meant you had to have shade.
God promises to be our shade. He will not let the sun strike us. This means he will protect us from things that will do us harm. Does this mean bad things won’t happen to you? No. Because God is most concerned about your life in Christ. If you have trusted Jesus for salvation, God will not let anything kill your faith. He will guard you and protect you from temptation, Satan, and sin. No spiritual enemy will be able to defeat you. In Christ, you have been rescued. And by God’s grace, you will stay rescued forever!
Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.