Economic upheaval and social strife at home. Civil wars and natural catastrophes aboard. All these cause us to continually feel anxious, apprehensive, and nervous. The belief that God keeps us gives comfort and assurance at a time when both (comfort and assurance) are greatly needed.
In the Old Testament the most popular use of keep is nastar and shamar. Nastar means to guard, protect, or preserve. We see this in Isaiah 27:3 when God speaks of His protection of Israel, “I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Shamar is similar in meaning—the sense is one of “watching over someone or something.” It is likened to a hedge strategically placed for protection. In Number 6, the LORD uses shamar in the priestly blessing for the children of Israel.
“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
The New Testament continues this thought of protection and preservation with its Greek meaning of keep—tereo and phulasso. The book of Jude closes with this popular blessing.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”
God’s also extends His keeping to our emotional and spiritual needs.
- You (God) will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. (Isa. 26:3)
- And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)
God’s promise to keep us in “His reach and watch” gives us blessed assurance that cannot be matched. We have nothing to fear for He has set Himself as our sentinel and watchman. He is the God who keeps. (2 Tim. 1:12)