Friday, April 24, 2015

The Castle Keep

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Psalm 138:7 

In all the old castles of England there used to be a place called the keep. It was always the strongest and best protected place in the castle, and in it were hidden all who were weak and helpless and unable to defend themselves in times of danger.  We can hide ourselves in the keeping power of our Divine Keeper, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, and who has promised to preserve our going out and our coming in, from this time forth and even forever more. The qualification for entrance was simply and only need and weakness. How foolish then it would have been for any to have made their weakness the reason for remaining outside!  And yet how continually is this done toward the Lord’s keep. If ever your feet are to touch the “rock beneath,” you must let go of every holding-place and drop into God; for there is no other way. And to do it now may save you months and even years of strain and weariness. - Hannah Whitall Smith

This is so often how I feel.  I feel weak and helpless and do not feel like I can face the battle before me so I want to retreat – I want to retreat into the castle keep.  What I wouldn’t give for a room to hide away in. If I could have such a room, I believe I would move in.  I wouldn’t just stay there for the big battles, I would reside there, hiding away from every little battle and skirmish and rift along the way.  There are some times when life feels so abusive that every little thing is a ding and then the really big things feel like taking a chunk out of our spirits.  Jesus is the Divine Keeper.  We can retreat into his arms and know that He is fighting for us.  He protects us so many times of which we are unaware.

Psalm 91 tells of how God is our protector, our very own castle keep:
Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.”

He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not fear any dangers at night, or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark, or the evils that kill in daylight.
A thousand may fall dead beside you, ten thousand all around you, but you will not be harmed. You will look and see how the wicked are punished.

You have made the Lord your defender, the Most High, your protector, and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home.

God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones.

You will trample down lions and snakes, fierce lions and poisonous snakes.
God says, “I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as Lord.

When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them.
I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them.”

These words certainly make me feel safe, protected, covered.  He definitely has our back.  He is the Divine Keeper and all we have to do is retreat to safety – in His arms. 

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