Near As Our Shadow
Psa. 121:5 The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord is thy keeper. Here the preserving One, who had been spoken of by pronouns in the two previous verses, is distinctly named—Jehovah is thy keeper. What a mint of meaning lies here: the sentence is a mass of bullion, and when coined and stamped with the king’s name it will bear all our expenses between our birthplace on earth and our rest in heaven. Here is a glorious person—Jehovah, assuming a gracious office and fulfilling it in person,—Jehovah is thy keeper, in behalf of a favoured individual—thy, and a firm assurance of revelation that it is even so at this hour—Jehovah is thy keeper. Can we appropriate the divine declaration? If so, we may journey onward to Jerusalem and know no fear; yea, we may journey through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. A shade gives protection from burning heat and glaring light. We cannot bear too much blessing; even divine goodness, which is a right hand dispensation, must be toned down and shaded to suit our infirmity, and this the Lord will do for us. He will bear a shield before us, and guard the right arm with which we fight the foe. That member which has the most of labour shall have the most of protection. When a blazing sun pours down its burning beams upon our heads the Lord Jehovah himself will interpose to shade us, and that in the most honourable manner, acting as our right hand attendant, and placing us in comfort and safety. “The Lord at thy right hand shall smite through kings”. How different this from the portion of the ungodly ones who have Satan standing at their right hand, and of those of whom Moses said, “their defence has departed from them”. God is as near us as our shadow, and we are as safe as angels.(Spurgeon’s Treasury of David)
The sun and the moon are both objects that either bring or reflect light. In both of these circumstances there is a shadow that cannot be shaken. The visible enemies of the day and the invisible of the night are all seen by God who remains near as a shadow and always on guard on our behalf.
I remember as a little girl playing with my shadow. Maybe I had recently read or seen “Peter Pan” but I found it fascinating that no matter what I did, I could not disconnect myself from my shadow. I would jump and run and try and hide, but somehow my shadow always came with me. On a bright and sunny day it was impossible to escape my shadow because it was attached to me.
The Lord is our keeper who cannot be shaken from us. God’s prevenient grace is always reaching out to draw beloved children back home. In the midst of trials and adversity God never runs away but remains as a tool of defense in the time of trouble.
Either we embrace the beautiful gift of God found at our right hand, or we try in vain to create distance. Trying to do things on our own looks just as silly as a child trying to shake their shadow. The natural order creates the shadow and so the natural order is for God to be our helper. Managing without the help of God doesn’t work well because we were created with connection. God is near as our shadow, so live into the peace of the presence of the shade at our right hand.
Lord, thank you for always being near. Amen.
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