He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3-4)
When I served in the Hollywood Fire Rescue Department during the 1980’s, each station had a position called the “watchman,” who was responsible for keeping watch at night while the other firefighters slept. When a call came in, the watchman would respond to dispatch as the alarm bells began to sound and make sure that everyone who needed to be up was up and rolling in response to the call. You could say that the Fire Department is never asleep, but is always keeping watch over the city.
I have a word of eternal encouragement for you from the Psalmist, who assures us that the God of Israel never slumbers or sleeps. In other words, the people of God have a God who is always on guard, always keeping watch over His people, both day and night. Our Savior is a watchman who continually keeps watch over His flock. No one can harm the sheep, because the Shepherd refuses to slumber or sleep. What a tremendous comfort to know that we have a God who is on guard for our wellbeing twenty-four hours a day, seven days each week, month after month, year after year . . . right up to the moment when we take our last breath on this side of glory.
It is impossible to exhaust the practical implications of this truth. God is continually protecting and preserving us against all those who would come against us. To know that our God is always on guard is to know that nothing happens to us that doesn’t first pass through His nail-scarred hands. God is never caught off guard and is never surprised by anyone or anything. To sleep each night in “heavenly peace” should be the confession of the lives of all those who are His.
If God never slumbers or sleeps, then we can know with certainty that we are continually on His mind and constantly in His heart. We are never forgotten nor forsaken. Our good God who is our great Guard has given us a promise that we can count on. Jesus will not let our foot slip like those who “sleep the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:3). He will guide us with His providence and preserve us with His power because He is always on the watch, working out everything for our good and for His glory.
Christian, regardless of where this finds you today, you can rest in your redemption, knowing that your Redeemer is keeping watch over you and every aspect of your life. He who refuses to slumber or sleep has made this promise to you: He who began this good work in you will absolutely, positively, bring it to completion.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!