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God - our Keep


Scriptures: Ephesians 3: 14-20 Isaiah 26: 1-4 Psalm 61: Genesis 28:15 Psalm 4:8

Psalm 121 Psalm 73:25-26

I was brought up in South Wales and for three of my teenage years we lived in West Wales where there seem to be an abundance of castles of all sizes. Some of them barely shells, others still in pretty good condition. But the basic design of these various castles was the same, external ramparts, sometimes surrounded by a moat, with a “keep” at its centre, on a raised mound, the last bastion of safety in the event of an attack. Then we moved to Cardiff where there is a very well preserved castle slap bang in the middle of the city, with an impressive keep at its heart, set high above the rest of the castle grounds.

In the book of Genesis, we read of the dream Jacob had of a ladder ascending to heaven and God speaking to him, telling him that He, God, will keep Jacob wherever he goes. That word keep always brings the image of the medieval castles to my mind. Isaiah speaks of God appointing salvation for walls and bulwarks in our strong city. Just as the castle walls provided physical safety and protection, and the keep the utmost place of refuge, so does our God in His own Person provide this assurance to us. He is our refuge, He is our place of safety, He is our everlasting Rock where we can run to.

There are so many scriptures, so many illustrations of our wonderful God being our refuge in times of trouble, our place to run to when everything around us is going wrong or falling apart. The psalms are overflowing with praise to God for His mighty, all encompassing protection. Psalm 73 demonstrates beautifully the struggle we all feel at times. Struggles that threaten to overwhelm him, until the Psalmist comes into the sanctuary of God, then he sees, he knows from the depths of his being that, no matter how much his heart may fear and his strength may fail, God is the strength of his heart and his portion forever.

We can look to the hills, to the highest places, but this is not where our help comes from. Our help comes from the Lord most high, He alone is our absolute assurance of safety, for He alone holds the world, with all its trouble and pain and suffering, in the palms of His Hands. Those Hands that still bear the marks of the cruel nails that held Him to Calvary’s tree to die in our place. He took on the suffering, the pain, the torment and anguish so that we might know beyond doubt, that He is our Salvation, our only Hope of peace and safety.

Where does your mind tell you to run to when all seems to be crumbling around you? Precious child of God, there is no need to run anywhere, for the God who gave everything for you is always with you, He will always keep you. He may not be physically visible to us now, but we can be unreservedly certain that Holy Spirit, the fullness of God Himself, dwells in each and every person who surrenders themselves utterly to Him.

We simply need to reach out, to declare that God is exceedingly abundantly able to do so much more than we can ever imagine or dream of. Our thoughts are way too limited to be able to fully grasp this, but we can and must just place our hand in His and relentlessly believe it.

Prayer: Abba Father, grant us the courage to join in saying with Corrie Ten Boom, Thank You Lord that You are our Hiding Place, whatever happens. Thank You that You do keep us wherever we go, Amen.

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