Sermon: The Lord Is Your Keeper
The story has been told of a believer, Frederick Nolan, who was fleeing from his enemies during a time of persecution in North Africa. Pursued by them over hill and valley with no place to hide, he fell exhausted into a wayside cave, expecting his enemies to find him soon.
Awaiting his death, he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes, the little bug had woven a beautiful web across the mouth of the cave. The pursuers arrived and wondered if Nolan was hiding there, but on seeing the unbroken and unmangled piece of art, thought it impossible for him to have entered the cave without dismantling the web. And so they went on. Having escaped, Nolan burst out and exclaimed:
“Where God is, a spider’s web is like a wall,
Where God is not, a wall is like a spider’s web.”
God Is Your Keeper
The Church of God is here compared to a vineyard. The vine is a tender plant, needing continual care; and if the vineyard is not well fenced, and guarded, the enemies of the vine are sure to get in, and destroy it.
What Does It Mean To Be A Keeper (Greek word šāmar)?
The verbal root šāmar means “protect, guard, watch over, take care of.”
God Protects Day and Night
God Will Guard Your Feet
“He safeguards the steps of his faithful.”
God Will Be Your Hope & Confidence
God Is Your Hope
Hope. An expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired.
Worldwide poverty, hunger, disease, and human potential to generate terror and destruction create a longing for something better. Historically people have looked to the future with a mixture of longing and fear. Many have concluded that there is no reasonable basis for hope and therefore to hope is to live with an illusion. Scripture relates being without hope to being in the world without God:
God Is Your Confidence
con•fi•dence \ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s, -ˌden(t)s\ noun
1 a: a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances 〈had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed〉 〈met the risk with brash confidence〉
b: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way 〈have confidence in a leader〉
Light signifies understanding, joy, and life (cf. 18:28) and the stronghold (cf. 18:2) signifies defense. With these provisions from the Lord, whom shall a believer fear?
Staying Continually Kept By God
There Is A Needed Connection
Required Fellowship With Each Other
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another.