Summary: Twenty seven years ago, I travelled to a new Church to preach in Kenya . Every time on my way to this church which was in the Maasai jungle in the middle of nowhere, I prayed that God will protect my family when I was gone, and God was faithful to do so.
THE BLESSING TO HAVE GOD AS YOUR GUARD: Part 2
Illustration, Personal- Twenty seven years ago, I travelled to a new Church to preach in Kenya . Every time on my way to this church which was in the Maasai jungle in the middle of nowhere, I prayed that God will protect my family when I was gone, and God was faithful to do so. Not only my close family was kept by the lord, but my large family, all my relatives, my friends, my former students, my home church , all of them were guarded by God. And not only that, my nation was under God’s protection for the sake of His elect.
Transition- The lord not only protects you diligently, but…
Division statement 1- When God is our Guard, he protects us all-inclusively; us and our dear ones.
Explanation, Pattern Study, Historical- This psalm has a stair like structure (this is a common characteristic of the psalms of ascent); In stair like fashion, the phrases are in an ascending structure, the thought of the first line is repeated and emphasized at the beginning of the second line. Look in verse 4. The Lord not only guards you, but He is the keeper of Israel. This thought must have been very dear to the Jewish traveler. He is on his way toward Jerusalem, but his family was miles away; he had no chance to know what was going on there, neither a chance to protect them. Many dangers a family could face in that time and setting. Wild beasts, enemies, emergency situations. The author suggests; ‘do not be afraid. The lord who is your guard is Israel’s guard too; your family is not in danger.’ It was a time when all the men in the nation were gone to worship God in his temple: what is going to happen is the Philistines, or the Moabites, or the Ammonites will strike us during our worship festivals? There is no need to fear: God will protect Israel, He keeps Israel and, as it was true for you that He will not sleep nor slumber, it is true for Israel too.
Argumentation, Example, Quotation, Reason- God is so much interested in those whom he has a special relationship by grace, that he will protect their families, cities, nation as well. God is able and willing to guard those who cannot guard your family while you are gone a long trip for few weeks? You cannot protect yourself, neither them. But God can guard you and your family. Do you remember what Elisha said to his servant when Samaria was surrounded by an army with horses and chariots? “Do not fear, he said, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. “And the lord was a guard for Samaria and Israel that day.
Application, Exhortation- Sometimes it is hard to be gone and not to worry about your family, or even your nation. It is difficult to be a Christian or a Jew and to not fear for the sake of Israel. There is no need to. God is the keeper. He will guard you and them as well. Being powerless in issues too big for us not a reason to worry. We have a mighty God who is our God and our nation Guard too. Praise to him.
Transition- There is something more the Psalm says about God our guard. Are you excited yet?
Division Statement 2- When God is our guard, he protects us continually: day and night.
Explanation, Geography, Term Explain, Word Study- look in verses 5 and 6. In contrast to the variable climatic conditions expierenced in many parts of North America, conditions in Israel during summer months are relatively stable. Warm days and cooler nights are the rule, and it almost never rain. In Jerusalem for example, the average August daytime high temperature is 86 degrees F, the night time average low is 64 degrees F. Israel is one of the sunniest countries in the world. Everybody understands what it means to get sunstroke. But how can the moon stroke you? The influence of the moon was considered by the eastern people to be very dangerous, in hot climate especially. The names given to persons of disordered intellect, lunatics, arose from the widespread belief of the moon on those who were exposed to its influence. The idea here is that God is your guard day and night and there is no natural law able to affect negatively Gods protégé. You can have full confidence in Gods protection.
Illustration- Imagine yourself traveling with Israelites through the desert toward Canaan. The sun strikes you right on the top of your head. The sand shines and your eyes are red, tired of this view. There is no shelter to sit under and no shadow, no oasis. But God has something special for you; a cloud to shadow you. And during the night, in the deepest darkness, in coolness, God has pillar of fire to show you that He is there, never forsaking you. You can turn on the other side and continue your sleep. God is there, your guard at the door of your camp.