Friday, February 11, 2011

Stepping Up: Week 1 - Day 3

Day 3 - The LORD Your Keeper

This morning was filled with praise...let me explain where I am...

I have a whole lot of work to do and was very far behind and worried that I would not meet the deadline.  So I came up with the idea to go to a nice quiet hotel for a couple days.  Yep, I basically ran away from home.  Now, I could have chosen a hotel near our home, but the nearest with internet access is probably 40-50 miles away so I thought why not drive a little further and go to the beach!  Pretty good thinking hey!

This was my view on my morning walk...sorry for the poor quality, it is from my cell phone.  I did not bring my camera - never even thought about it!  I am supposed to be working afterall...

Anyway, it was an amazing walk and I was awed by God's creation and one of the songs I sang to myself was this. Have a listen and praise with me...

Ok, now for the today's Bible study.  We are still looking at Psalm 121.  I love learning about the structure and translation of the Word, and that is part of what today's lesson is about.

Psalm 121
1 I WILL lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?

2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
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.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

The first line of verse 5 "The Lord is your keeper" is the mid point of the psalm, because in Hebrew, there are 58 syllables before this phrase and 58 syllables after.  God's Word is perfect isn't it!!

Now what about translation, using the example from the workbook.  In the NASB verses 7-8:

The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

This translation uses three different English words - I underlined them - to translate one Hebrew word 'shamar' which means "to keep, preserve, protect; to watch."  It is sort of disappointing to learn this because in translation we lose the impact that the Psalmist intended.  As Beth says in the workbook, "the Psalmist intended to hammer a point over and over again, repeating it until we got it: The LORD is your protector!"

As I was walking this morning I found myself having the most fun I have ever had at 7 in the morning - me not being a morning person, that says alot!  I was walking along the beach trying to be as close to the water as I could but trying to keep my feet dry at the same time.  Now if it were summer I would not have cared, but seeing as it was hovering around freezing I really did not care to have wet shoes for the remainder of my walk. I was dodging waves I came to this conclusion...

Just as the waves kept trying to get my feet wet - wave after wave after wave, nonstop - so is Satan always trying to get at us and pull us away from our walk with God.  But God protects us and if we are paying attention to Him, "He will not allow your foot to slip" Psalm 121:3a (HCSB).

And just to 'hammer away' at this point I was stunned into amazement on my return to the hotel.  Here is what I saw...again, sorry for the quality.
Those are my footprints, I did not see anyone else on the beach this morning, so they are certainly mine.  I would not have missed this bright red ball on my way out, but it was certainly there on my way back!  Can you guess what it is?  It is a Christmas decoration, a bright shiny red Christmas ball.  A symbol of the birth of our Savior placed in my path.  So as I embark on this journey to learn the Psalms of Ascent I have been given a powerful reminder that the LORD is my protector.  I will treasure it always...

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