The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. Psalm 121:7 

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one John 17:15

We often feel the need for protection. Whether or not we think of our problem as due to evil, or the presence of an evil one, we still benefit from God’s promises of protection. The 121st Psalm has a beautiful picture of God as our keeper. Much like a shepherd keeping a flock safe and healthy, or a gate keeper watching over us and protecting a city. It is a very comforting psalm, sometimes read at funerals. The eight and last verse:

The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore  Psalm 121:8

God is always there ready to listen to us and to help us overcome any evils in our lives. When Jesus is praying for His disciples, they may have thought He was going to ask for them to have protection from temptation and attacks as they spread Jesus’ message. Instead, the prayer is for protection from the “evil one.” The one who would lead them away from God and into lives other than what God desires. They may have hoped that they would be spared the problems of this world.

Instead, just like us, the disciples are of this world and subject to the problems we all have. God’s promise is to protect us from evil, and always to be watching over us, like a shepherd watches over the sheep. From this time on and forevermore!

Shepherding God, you are our keeper. We give you thanks for watching over us our whole life long. There is much in our world which can threaten to undo our lives  and cause us to stray from your path. Be our protector. Strengthen us through scripture, the example of Jesus, and the presence of your spirit. Keep us faithful to you, as you are faithful to us.   Amen

Chris Gabel