As I’ve been writing a new bible study there was a word in Scripture that, when I came to it, really grabbed my attention. A word that I’ve read in the Bible for years, but y’all … I wanted to sit on it longer, let it marinate in my mind and spirit, and really understand what it means. It’s the word “preserve.”
Psalm 31:23 – Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Psalm 32:7 – You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
Psalm 37:28 – For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalm 40:11 – As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
What does the Lord mean when He says that we, His saints, are preserved forever? The biblical definition of preserve offers a somewhat similar idea of what we do when we make “preserves.” By adding a little sugar, salt, or some kind of preservative substance, we are enabling the fruit or vegetables or meat to remain in a good state, protecting it from decay or fermentation. We are helping to “defend” it from the growth of bacteria, but still maintaining the nutrient values of the food.
However, the word preserve in today’s verses is being used in its original root -a verb – letting us know that there is an action taking place on our behalf … an action being carried out “for” us. As I looked at the original Hebrew of this word and its definition I found this: 1. (v. t.) To keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, etc.; to protect. The NASB translation offered the following list of words to define just what it means when the Word of God says that “the Lord’s faithfulness will ever preserve me:”
attend, being careful, beware, bodyguard, careful to keep, cares, charge, defending, diligently keep, doorkeeper, gatekeepers, to guard, guardsmen, hoarded , keep watch, maintain, observe, pay attention, protect, protector, to watch, watchman
Also, the NASB also offered these definitions:
to keep, guard
to have charge of
to protect, save life
to keep watch, watchman
to observe, celebrate
to treasure up
When I look at these definitions that sum up EVERYTHING promised by God to us, His children, the very thought that comes to my mind is this … “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6
Y’all, I just would love to encourage us to pray and thank God for His preservation promise. He promises to “keep us,” to watch over us, to be our Watchman, our Guard, our Protector, our Doorkeeper, our Gatekeeper and my favorite … to be our Bodyguard! There’s just something about knowing that every day I walk this earth, I’m never alone. Never. It’s as though my life journey can be summed up and titled: “My Bodyguard and Me.” But as I looked at those definitions, another word just jumped off the page — hoarded. We have been hoarded by the Great Creator and King of this world! He actually promises to hoard us for Himself … that’s all we need, that is it, so we can live every day in His “rest.” Just casting all our cares on Him and basking in the fact that He committed Himself to hoard our life! Love that!
We are living in an uncertain world, and truthfully … our own “worlds” (life among family and friends) can all seem so uncertain at times. But if we LIVE IN the Word of God and LIVE OUT the Word of God, if we choose to trust Him and always thanking Him for sending His Son into this world to save us from our sin, then we can and we will live CERTAIN in an UNCERTAIN world! It all starts with a personal loving relationship with Jesus Christ and … LOVING OUR BIBLES!!
Living CERTAIN is called living in faith. It’s called moving FORWARD with an unshakable faith in a world that’s being shaken.
If the Lord has placed you in charge of anything … a home, an organization, a family, an office, a calling, a work, a ministry, a group of people, an assignment … then please be inspired to move FORWARD with unshakable faith by refusing to wallow in the past. By all means, y’all, let’s learn from the past. Let’s remember the past IF it serves to increase our faith and stoke a righteous motivation in us. Let’s remember the past if it equips our zeal with the passions of God. Let’s remember our past if it enables us to pull from a reservoir of His resounding faithfulness. And then ultimately, let’s decide and determine to live each day as His “preserved FORWARD leader,” pressing toward the goal to win the prize in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:14)
And when the devil tries to cause us to doubt the Word of God (and he will), and when he wants us to doubt if OUR life is going to be kept safe and preserved, we need to wield the Sword of the Spirit by saying today’s Psalms out loud. Nothing defeats the enemy’s tactics like praise….so let’s worship the Preserver of our life by praying down the power of His promises. Did you know that the Lord loves it when we tell Him what His Word says…what it promises? He smiles His favor on those who summon His power through prayer … prayer that calls FORWARD His promises!
He preserves not because of any good works on our part, not because you’ve saved up money, not because you have plenty of mutual funds or CD’s, and not because you are rich or poor…but because He is a God of great grace and mercy He promises His saints, “I WILL preserve your life.” We can’t work our way into being worthy of His promises. His promises are for those who have “confessed with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and have believed in their heart that God raised him from the dead.” (Romans 10:9) The promise of Romans 10:9 is this …“you will be saved.” From that initial promise, forward, God has a treasury of promises straight from His heart to you and to me.
Romans 10:9 is the launching pad of promises God has made for us to believe and to experience with Him now and forevermore!
Now, if that doesn’t cause our voices to raise in worship and praise, I don’t know what will!!
Let’s believe, without a smidgin’ of doubt, that the promises in today’s Psalms apply to us. And then all we need to do is strap on our hiking boots of ascending hope and continue the hike … keep moving FORWARD in the pilgrimage of faith God has chosen for our life and let’s daily trust that ——-> Because God saved me, He will preserve me.