2008-06-11 - Keep Me From That Evil Man: Myself
Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons."
Keeping our soul diligently: It is not something we hear much about these days. Do you diligently keep your soul? We all should all seek to preserve our wicked hearts from our natural corruptions that rise up. This is only done by living in the grace of God. It is more than living in God's grace and mercy, however. It is more akin to breathing. Every breath grounded in the caring, loving, and sustaining power of our Lord. The unexpectedness and turbulence of our passions are enemies to our peace of conscience and purity. We must seek to be kept from sins - public and private. Let us not dishonor our Lord in any of our doings. The above verse from Deuteronomy reminds us to keep in mind the provisions of God usward in the past. The reason is that if we forget God's goodness to us in days and years past, we are prone to depart from a life of seeking the things of God today. This verse, and really the whole passage connected with it, also admonishes us to make known the ways of the Lord to both our children and grandchildren.
There are snares all around us. The wise man or woman, at all times, desires that the Lord would keep them in His care and will. "Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Thy wings," Psalm 17:8. We have some idea of the crafty ways of Satan, and for this reason, such appeals as we see from David in Psalm 17 should be common with us also. We know the danger of the subtleties of Satan. We know our weakness when under temptation. We also know that our strength in such times (in all our times) is only in the Lord. Those who know their weakness in resisting sin, and the wickedness of their hearts (Jer. 17:9), must also know, by experience, Psalm 17:8, "Keep me." It is an intelligent prayer, "Keep me." When we pray it, we show that we know the futility of all other ways. "Keep me" is that wise attitude of the heart that knows it cannot keep itself. We need the help of a guardian who always looks after us, because we know, all too well, we cannot keep ourselves. Yet it is even more. We see in this Psalm not just the desire that the Lord would keep us, but also the prayer that He would keep us as the apple of the eye. Could we have wiser, more prudent desires?
Diligent soul-keeping is serious business. We cannot do it ourselves, but we ask for help from the One who can. The snares of temptation are often perplexing even to the most experienced sinner. The wise child of God knows that without the Lord keeping us, we would be unable to escape without falling. We need power from on high. At the first indication of wrong practice, let us flee to the Lord, remembering His kind benevolence to us in Christ, and let us gain strength to resist those evils that look sweet, but taste bitter. The follower of Christ knows this, if he/she knows nothing else: The Lord has been gracious. He is the same today, as He ever was (Mal. 3:6). Let us rest in that, teaching these truths to our children, and resting deeply in them ourselves.
Soli Deo Gloria,
To submit questions to him for his Summer Questions series, you may send them directly to Tim.
Editor's Note: The questions in this series are stated in the exact form sent by the readers - unedited, unproofed, in order to remain true to the reader's original wording.