14th June 2017

Safely in the Fold

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 for evermore.”
Psalm 121:7-8 (ESV)

Read the whole of Psalm 121 and you’ll find that the psalmist is adamant that God will keep us, repeating ‘keep’ six times. We may wonder in what way was God going to keep the Israelites. But they would have understood, because the Hebrew word literally means ‘guard’ and there’s a closely related word that means a ‘thorn’. As an agrarian society, they knew that shepherds would construct a wall made from thorn bushes around their flocks at night to protect them from predators.

These weren’t like little rose bush thorns—these are serious thorns. When we were living in Malawi, one of the boundaries to our house bordered on an area that had once been a holding place for cattle before they came to the market in town. It had been surrounded and protected by the same type of thorn bushes. They had been neglected and grown up into the trees and were making a take-over bid for portions of our garden. Our gardener wouldn’t tackle them—it took our night guard, who was always looking for a little extra work in the morning before he went home, to bring it all to order. So, I can confirm that it would not just be a deterrent to gardeners; lions bent on lunch might try to get through once, but not twice.

Satan is like a lion who would like to come after us and turn us into a spiritual snack, but the good shepherd is there for us. We are safe in the fold, hedged about. The only way into the fold is through the door, Christ himself (John 10:7-9). We are protected by his love, his life given for us, set aside and marked by the Spirit, a wall of protection far more powerful than a hedge of spiky thorns. No one can snatch us out of God’s hands (John 10:29).

Our Lord, we give you thanks for the blessing of keeping us, guarding us, protecting us, making us safe in your fold from whatever rages in this world’s night around us.

Study by Hilary Buck


About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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