Praying the Pilgrim Songs: Psalm 121:3-4

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Psalm 121:3-4

He will not allow your foot to slip;

He who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel

Will neither slumber nor sleep.

 

Lord, who is it that you protect and help? Who is it that you keep from trouble? You have said to me, it is those who Love me and trust in me; it is those who come under my shelter, under my wings —Ps. 91. Yes, it is those who cry out to me for help. You will not allow his foot to slip into trouble. You will keep him from the harm of temptation. You will keep him from the enemy’s grasp. You will surround him with truth and love and peace.

But Lord, what if the enemy is too strong for me? What if all I see from him overtakes me? Will your love still surround me and conquer the enemy? Will you fight the enemy when I am not able to fight, when I give into him?

Lord strike down my enemy when I am weak! Show yourself strong in me! And when I am even too weak to cry out to you, you give me strength to cry out.  Lord, help me in all my weakness, you who do not slumber nor sleep.

Lord, you will keep your faithful ones in Israel.  Yes, you will keep your covenant with them.  You will fulfill your will according to the purpose you have for them.  Lord, we see this even now and we are pleased.

 

Gill’s Exposition of Psalm 121:3-4

Psalm 121:3

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

He wilt not suffer thy foot to be moved,…. This is either an address of the psalmist to his own soul; or to any other good man, his friend and acquaintance, assuring of stability, and of final perseverance in grace to glory. The Lord keeps the feet of his saints from falling: he will not suffer them to be moved out of the spiritual estate in which they stand; nor off of the Foundation and Rock of ages, on which their feet are set, and their goings established; nor out of the house of God, where they are as pillars; nor out of his ways, where he upholds their goings; moved in some sense they may be, yet not “greatly moved”; their feet may be “almost” gone, and their steps “well nigh” slipped, and yet shall not fall finally and totally, or so as to perish; see Psalm 62:2; he that keepeth thee will not slumber; neither angels nor men are the keepers of the saints, but the Lord himself; he is the keeper of every individual saint, of every regenerate person, of everyone of his sheep, of every member of his church; he keeps them by his power, he preserves them by his grace, he holds them with his right hand; guides them by his counsel, keeps their feet from falling, and brings them safe to glory: and a watchful keeper he is, he does not so much as slumber; he keeps them night and day, lest any harm them, Isaiah 27:3. Gussetius reads the whole as a prayer, “let him not suffer thy foot”, &c. “let not thy keeper slumber” (i); to which the answer follows.

(i) “ne permittat–ne dormitet”, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth.

Psalm 121:4

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. He that kept Israel or Jacob, when asleep, and appeared to him in a dream, and promised to keep him in all places, and did; who found his posterity in the wilderness, and kept them as the apple of his eye: he keeps his spiritual Israel, whom he has chosen, redeemed, and calls; and he that is in general their keeper, is the keeper of every particular believer, who may promise themselves the utmost safety under his care; since, though he may sometimes seem to sleep, when he withdraws his gracious presence, defers help, and does not arise so soon to the assistance of his people as they wish for and expect; yet does not in reality sleep, nor is any ways negligent of them; no, not so much as slumber, nor is in the least indifferent about them, and careless of them; see Genesis 28:15. So Homer (k) represents Jupiter as not held by sleep, while other gods and men slept all night; and hence Milton (l) has the phrase of “the unsleeping eyes of God”: but the Phrygians had a notion that their god slept in winter, and was awake in summer (m).

(k) Iliad. 2. v. 1, 2.((l) Paradise Lost, B. 5. v. 647. (m) Plutarch. de Iside & Osir. prope finem.

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About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
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