How God Is Our Keeper

Do you want to know how God is our keeper, and in what ways He watches over us?

There is something extremely comforting and peace-bringing in the notion of God being our keeper. To acknowledge and trust God as our keeper, we need first to have an understanding and acceptance of our humanity. We need to accept our fragility, vulnerability, weaknesses, and limitations. 

Relating to God as our keeper means we admit our need for protection, care, guidance, and direction. We declare we are not enough and we need someone bigger who can keep us safe and watch over us. And only God is perfect for this role.

Only God is perfect for the role of our keeper. #encouragement #Biblestudy #comfort Share on X

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How God is Our Keeper in Psalm 121

Psalm 121 depicts God as our keeper.

The first way God is our keeper is through giving us His help and being available to us 24/7. (Psalm 121:1-2)

The second way God is our keeper is simply His ability to be God. This means He is not limited by anything, He sees everything; He doesn’t need to take a break. (Psalm 121:3-4)

God can be our keeper because He is near. Although invisible, He is the closest to us, closer than any human being can ever be. The psalm describes this nearness of God’s presence this way:

“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” (Psalm 121:5)

The fourth way God is our keeper is by keeping us from all harm. (Psalm 121:6-7) What does this mean? Does it mean that God protects us from all kinds of discomfort, trouble, and pain? The answer is NO.

But He keeps us from harm. He preserves our souls and takes out the deadly sting of sin, suffering, and traumatic experiences. Through the healing and restorative work of the Holy Spirit, He keeps and preserves our souls for eternity.

We have His assurance that nothing and nobody can snatch us from Jesus’ hands. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

Through the healing and restorative work of the Holy Spirit, God keeps and preserves our souls for eternity.  #Biblestudy #encouragement #God Share on X

God Watches Over Our Life 

The main idea of Psalm 121 is that God watches over us and our lives. The psalm concludes with these hope-giving and powerful words:

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8)

“Coming and going” denotes new beginnings and exits, changing of seasons and multiple transitions, going through different phases and stages. Our lives are in constant flux, marked by change and uncertainty. But God is always there as our keeper.

Watching over has different aspects. The root of the Hebrew word translated with “The Lord watches over you” (Psalm 121:5) is “shamar”. It means to watch or keep, to guard and preserve, and keep safe. Several other meanings include saving a life, having charge of, retaining, and treasuring up.

The general meaning of “watch over” is to protect someone and make certain that they are safe, take care of somebody/something; guard and protect; or ensure the welfare of someone or something, often through close observation. Synonyms of “watch over” are to supervise, manage, lead, steer, direct, tend, keep, care for, guard, and protect.

So when God watches over us, He does this at 3 levels, providing:

  • guidance and direction
  • care and help
  • protection

We see this also in the story about Jacob and his dream at Bethel.

God watches over us, providing guidance and direction, care and help, and protection. #trustGod #protection #encouragement #Biblestudy Share on X

God’s Promise to Watch Over Jacob

In Genesis 28, we meet Jacob on a journey into the unknown. He leaves his home and heads to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there. On his way, he has a vision of God.

“He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12)

The Lord stands above this stairway and speaks to Jacob, giving him several promises. Here is the last promise:

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)

What a powerful promise and assurance! Here we can see one more aspect of what it means that God watches over us. It means that God also watches over us to fulfill His promises in our lives.

This vision and God’s promises prompts Jacob to make this vow:

 “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear  so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God.” (Genesis 10:21-22)

God’s ability and willingness to watch over Jacob is central to this vow. Jacob wants to experience God as his keeper, protector, and provider because this will make God his God. Jacob’s understanding of God watching over him includes the notion of protection, provision, success, and safety. 

We Can Trust God as Our Keeper

As human beings, we crave security and safety. We want someone to guard and protect us and watch over us. God is the perfect keeper, guide, and protector.

We can trust Him to watch over our coming and going and keep us from all harm.

“Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1)

More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources and encouragement to boost your faith and trust in God as your keeper, protector, and provider, I highly recommend these books. Check them out.

Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings by Hadassah Treu

Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose in Your Tomorrow by David Jeremiah

Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

Life Can Be Good Again by Lisa Appelo

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst

Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley

Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge

All Things New by John Eldredge

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig

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Your Turn

What do you expect of God as your keeper and protector? Share in the comments and on social media if you found this article helpful. Thank you!

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16 Replies to “How God Is Our Keeper”

  1. You do such an incredible job explaining how God is our keeper. It’s so true that we crave safety and security and having God as our perfect keeper, guide, and protector is amazing.

  2. God’s presence is so reassuring. It’s comforting to know that He is my keeper and I am never alone, no matter what I am going through. Thank you for these timely reminders. It seems as if there is so much pain and suffering everywhere, and God is with us no matter what happens.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! Life is hard and unpredictable, and we need these reminders that God is our keeper and watches over us often. Blessings to you!

  3. Thank you for this blogpost. It is very good. This psalm was comforting me Sunday when I was feeling tired and anxious and now I am reading about it on your blog.

    God bless you.

  4. I am in the middle of teaching my classes that Jacob story! I love your insights. I used that story about Jacob’s dream during chapel this week and we celebrated communion with tons of small girls, and boy did I feel God near then!

    1. That’s wonderful, Rebecca! I love the story of Jacob and God’s promise to watch over Jacob and fulfill what He told him, has encouraged me many times.

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