November 7, 2018

CHRIST OUR KEEPER (Ps 121:5). Paul’s first taste of persecution came quickly after his conversion: “In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me” (2 Cor 11:32). The words “kept” and “garrison” are the same word—phroureo, to guard militarily. It made a big impression on him, to be “let down” over the wall. But in the next chapter, he tells of being “caught up,” which wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been let down first! Paul uses the same word to describe how our progress was barred by the law: “we were kept (phroureo) under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (Gal 3:23). But now that we have been freed from the law, the Lord our Keeper garrisons us in a double fortress: We “are KEPT by the power of God through faith…” (1 Pet 1:5). “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will GUARD your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Php 4:7).