The LORD is your keeper: the LORD is your shade on your right hand.…
A celebrated traveller — after an absence of three years, during which he had walked across the continent of Africa from east to west, through vast regions never before trodden by the foot of the white man — recently received an enthusiastic welcome home. As he approached the quiet Kentish village where he had spent his boyish days, his first act, before entering his much-loved home, was to pass through the portals of the church where his aged father ministered, and, humbly kneeling, offer his devout thanksgiving to that .God who had watched over and preserved him in all his wanderings. Among other appropriate Scriptures this psalm was read. It was a touching scene! Many hearts heaved with emotion, and many tears were shed, as the reader,, in trembling accents, uttered the words, "The Lord is thy keeper," etc. It was a fitting acknowledgment of that Divine goodness which had safely con. ducted the weary, sun-burnt traveller through all the perils of his great and adventurous journey.
I. THE DIVINE PROTECTION IS AMPLE AND EFFICIENT.
1. It is ample. "The Lord is thy shade." He surrounds His people, and guards them at every point of attack. The foe must be able to pierce the invulnerable, and conquer the invincible, before he can touch the feeblest saint who is sheltered by the wings of God.
2. It is efficient. "Upon thy right hand." As the enemies of God's people are ever standing at their right hand to frustrate all their efforts in well-doing, so Jehovah is at their right hand to encourage and sustain those efforts, and restrain their enemies.
II. THE DIVINE PROTECTION SHIELDS FROM THE MOST OPEN ASSAULTS. "The sun shall not smite thee by day." The worker in the dismal mine, the traveller by road, or rail, or sea, the toiler surrounded by the most destructive materials, is alike under the. shadow of the Divine protection.
III. THE DIVINE PROTECTION GUARDS FROM THE EFFECTS OF THE MOST SECRET TREACHERY. "Nor the moon by night." The Divine Sentinel never slumbers. He can never be outwitted by the cunning of the most malicious.
IV. THE DIVINE PROTECTION IS A DEFENCE AGAINST EVERY EVIL. "The Lord shall preserve thee from evil: He shall preserve thy soul." He protects from the evil of sin and of suffering. He turns away the evil that is feared, and alleviates and sanctifies the evil He permit.
V. THE DIVINE PROTECTION IS REALIZED AMID THE ACTIVE DUTIES OF LIFE. "The Lord shall preserve thy going out." The good man is directed in the beginning of his undertakings, and shielded by the Divine presence during their active prosecution (Deuteronomy 28:3-6). He is safe wherever his duties carry him — in the workshop, the street, the busy mart, on the restless sea, or in strange and distant countries.
VI. THE DIVINE PROTECTION OVERSHADOWS THE REST AND QUIETNESS OF HOME. "And thy coming in." Evening brings all home; and the weary one, after the toils and dangers of the day, enjoys the peace and rest of his home all the more because he knows he is encircled by the Divine guardianship. And when the shadows of life's eventide gather round him, he fears not. The Lord will preserve his coming in — his tranquil entrance into the heavenly home!
VII. THE DIVINE PROTECTION IS UNREMITTING. "From this time forth and even for evermore." Lessons —
1. Offer grateful praise for the protection of the past.
2. Fear not the most furious assaults of the enemy.
3. Put all your confidence in the Divine Protector.
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.