God Will Keep Thy Soul

by Tom Wacaster

In times of uncertainty the child of God has a refuge in his heavenly Father.  Indeed, the promises that God gives to His children are so abundant that the saint could read one promise a day for the entire year and not have touched the hem of the garment.  Psalm 121:7 contains just such a promise:

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

For those of us who grew up in the days of the cold war between the two superpowers of the world, morning “atom bomb drills” were almost a daily occurrence. Who among us can forget the “Cuban Missile Crisis,” also known as the “October Crisis of 1962”? That crisis was a 13 day standoff between the United States and Soviet Russia. It was the closest that the ‘cold war’ came to a full-scale nuclear war. I was barely 15 years of age then, and I can still remember those drills where we would go into the hallway of our local school and face the walls and put our hands over our heads. I sometimes wondered what good that would do if a nuclear missile actually struck the DFW area.

I am now rapidly approaching the completion of seven full decades upon this planet. I’m not suggesting that sixty-nine years has somehow made me wiser than any of you who might be older, or more experienced in life. I’m just saying that I have been blessed to live and serve my Lord for that extended period of time. One thing I have learned is that the uncertainties of the early to mid 1960’s have not diminished; they have only changed form. Things are just as perilous today as they were in those innocent years of the 50’s and 60’s. Life remains uncertain, riches take wings, and ‘earthly wisdom’ continues to prove itself to be devilish and from beneath. Random killings remain a mystery, whether it be so-called terrorists, or crazed killers like Charles Manson. We may be exposed to more violence, and that may play a part in making it seem like there is a greater quantity of killings and that the chances of our becoming a victim of such violence is greater. I scarce can browse the internet, or read the newspaper without being exposed to yet another terrorist act of insanity; for who in their right mind would strap explosives to themselves, and then detonate their homemade bomb in the midst of a crowded marketplace? After all, what do they accomplish? They don’t live long enough to “enjoy” (if I dare use that word) the act of misled devotion to a false religion. In fact, precisely the opposite occurs. The very moment they take their own life and the lives of dozens of others, they wake up in eternity with the full realization that they have made a horrible miscalculation. And every time we hear of some mass killing, the pundits and prognosticators are seeking “clues” as to what motivated the killings.  Such random killings are designed to generate fear in the minds of society. Were it not for the fact that God has promised to watch over His children, the crazed mad men of our unstable society might be successful in producing that fear even in the hearts of God’s children.

In contrast, consider the promise set forth by the Psalmist. “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil.” To a certain degree God does protect us and shield us from the woes of this world, if for no other reason than the fact that seeds of godliness keep us aloof from the troubles that plague most men. I know of no Christian who has been the victim of random shootings. I am not saying no Christian has ever fallen prey to senseless killings; I am just saying I know of none. But the promise that “the Lord shall preserve thee from all evil” finds its fullest application when it comes to preservation of the soul. Regardless of what might happen in this world, the Christian has his hope set on what happens after this life.  While God is concerned about our well being this side of eternity, He is more concerned about the soul, and has promised to keep us from all evil. When traveling, when going home and coming back, everywhere and at all times, God will watch over us. What great comfort there is for the troubled soul in knowing that God cares for us. As one poet put it:

In foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes they pass unhurt,
And breath in tainted air.
When by the dreadful tempest borne,
High on the broken wave,
They know thou art not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.
The storm is laid – the winds retire,
Obedient to thy will;
The seas that roar at thy command,
At thy command is still.
In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
Thy goodness we’ll adore;
We’ll praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.
Our life, while thou preserv’st that life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;
And death, when death shall be our lot,
Shall join our souls to thee” 

There is no doubt that troublesome times will remain as long as the earth remains; that is just part of life, and part of curse of sin and evil. But let come what may, the child of God rests in the promise that “God will keep thy soul.”

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