“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
We have been focusing on the providence of God and I have been reading Dr. Piper’s book, Providence. This is a wonderful doctrine that should bring great comfort to the Christian. The Heidelberg Catechism of 1563 says, “The Almighty’s everywhere present power, whereby as it were by His hand, still upholds heaven and earth with all creatures and so governs them that the herbs and the grass and the rain and the drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, all things not by chance but by his fatherly hand.”
Jesus lets us know in the Sermon on the Mount that he takes care of the little things, the little flowers and the birds. We could also say of God’s providence, because it is universal and extensive, he takes care of the big things; the world wars and the tsunamis and the avalanches.
Here is the great comfort when you think of divine providence, it extends to every one of his children. God the perfect caretaker is taking care of you. If you are a child of God you have that wonderful comfort and promise. That’s why Peter can say when it comes to prayer, “Cast all your care upon Him for he cares for you.”
Every day we experience the daily providential care. It is not just that God takes care of us in terms of our physical needs, but he protects us spiritually. The doctrine that has often been zeroed in on when it comes to God taking care of us spiritually is the doctrine of divine preservation. God the good shepherd takes care of his sheep. Jesus said, “I will lose none of my sheep.” Another picture of divine preservation is in Psalm 46, “The Lord is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” God puts himself under the image of a shield in Psalm 18, he is a shield to all who take refuge in him. 1 Corinthians 1:8, “…who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God is faithful, of whom you were called into fellowship of his son, Jesus Christ our Lord. He takes us right back to the beginning where God calls us, as the first act of God in terms of salvation applied; but he also sustains us and keeps us to the end until the day of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” God is committed to taking care of us. He calls us, that is the beginning, and he takes us right to the end until his son comes back again. Jude 1:1, “To those who are called beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ,” and vs 24, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”
Here is the great comfort for every child of God, God is protecting and keeping us 24/7. Every hour of every day, every second and every minute he is taking care of us. In the midst of all of our trials and struggles, wanderings, even backslidings, God is committed to our care.
That is one good reason why we should go to God and cast our care upon him, because he cares for us. We need to pray that God would keep us safe, persevering, from sin, from the devil. Jesus tells us to pray that in that prayer of prayers. We should be thanking God all our days for his keeping, preserving grace. John Newton in Amazing Grace, “Grace has brought me safely thus far and grace will lead me home.” We were reminded Sunday of the protective shepherd’s care. Jesus showed his loving gracious protection from that mob of soldiers by his assertive presence, by his omnipotent power, by his authoritative precepts and by his initiative of peace.