Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In "Other" Words Tuesdays is hosted by Loni at Writing Canvas today. Please visit her and see what she and the others had to say on this topic.

This is one of my favorite verses in the Psalms. The protection of God from evil and plague, or harm and disaster, is one I find very comforting and reassuring. It reminds me of His sincere love for me, that He is active and concerned in every aspect of my life. Not only in blessing me, but in keeping evil from me.

Shamar is the Hebrew word for the word "keep" in this Scripture. Shamar means:

1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed
a) (Qal)
1) to keep, have charge of
2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life
a) watch, watchman (participle)
3) to watch for, wait for
4) to watch, observe
5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)
6) to keep (within bounds), restrain
7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)
8) to keep, preserve, protect
9) to keep, reserve
b) (Niphal)
1) to be on one's guard, take heed, take care, beware
2) to keep oneself, refrain, abstain
3) to be kept, be guarded
c) (Piel) to keep, pay heed
d) (Hithpael) to keep oneself from

What a wonderful assurance that God has sent His angels with the charge to keep, guard, observe, take care of, and pay heed to our hearts.

There is spiritual warfare going on all around us that we may not even be aware of at the time.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." ~ Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

In reading about evils and plagues mentioned in the Bible, I have found myself very thankful that our loving and merciful God sends His angels to do a lot of the fighting for us. They surely fight far more for us than we realize! Only a loving and merciful God would send His messengers to do that for us. While we are not to worship angels, I am thankful for them and the victories they win for God on a daily basis.

May He be glorified as we cling to His promise in Psalm 91:10-11!

I know the subject of Halloween is on many of our hearts this week. Do we or don't we trick-or-treat? Do we or don't we go to Harvest Parties at church? Do we or don't we have parties at home?

While we won't be having our usual party (God has done some convicting of my heart and I have had to spend some time in deep prayer about this subject), this year Kristyn & Corey are coming up and bringing Liam & Nolan. While Corey goes out with Nolan and Kristyn's oldest brother Wayne trick-or-treating (Nolan is going to be a character from Between the Lions on PBS), Steve and Kristyn will ooh and ahh over the little Snow White's and Barney's and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters while I am inside cuddling with Baby Liam. There will be hot dogs and chips and dip afterward for supper and maybe some of theose cookies with icing on them that I am oh, so fond of...and that will wrap up Halloween for us. I'm hoping to call it an early night!

One verse I'm holding near this year...

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV)

The Greek word for appearance is eidos, which means:

1) the external or outward appearance, form figure, shape
2) form, kind

Whatever your custom on Halloween night, I do hope you have a safe and fun night. Know that no evil will befall you and that God has angels surrounding you and protecting you, keeping you safe because of the love of the Lord.

We will be doing the same!

Be sure to visit Loni at Writing Canvas and see what she and the others have to say on In "Other" Words Tuesdays.


MiPa said...

Great post Laurie Ann. Thanks for sharing.

Lynnette Kraft said...

Laurie Ann,
Thank you for sharing today. I think you're right...if we can remember that we don't fight against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, we will pray more earnestly for protection and help. God desires our prayers, as it shows him that we love him and that we seek the right path.

Have a great day.

Karen said...

To a Christian its wonderful news knowing that God is watching over us. To a non-Christian they don't like the thought of God "watching them" Sad isn't it. May God protect us all each day as He sends extra angels to fight the evilness that can be brought out during Halloween.

LAURIE said...

God - our protector. What a wonderful thing to cling to. He is our safe tower and we can run to it and I am so thankful for that. Great thoughts today and as far as halloween - my husband and I started something several years ago in our church where we do a kids crusade and the climax is a kids day with blow ups and a rock wall and then a trunk or treat. Last year we had 1100 kids come. People are looking for an alternative - a safe alternative. I think it is very appropriate for churches to step in and take the darkness out of this holiday and bring Gods light to families that are so desperately seeking it.

-Blessings, Laurie

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

OH! How much more rich this passage is within the context of the definitions of shamar! Thank you for including this today.

And this:
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:22

WOW! How perfect for my kiddo's for this season of H. This will go on the white board as memory verse today.

Happy IOW Tuesday!

Betsy Markman said...

Pray for our family this season. We've never done Halloween, and since the 31st also happens to be my birthday, we've had another legitimate celebration to focus on. But this year the kids want to go trick-or-treating, and my husband wants me to let them. As I said, please pray...

LauraLee Shaw said...

I always love your posts, Laurie Ann. Your interpretation is right on in my view, and I love the fact that you are brave enough to bring up the Halloween subject.

That night can be (for some) a perfect time to be a light, to meet our neighbors (some that won't give us the time of day otherwise because they know we're Christians), and I think our motive is completely what the Lord is concerned with. And our conscience. If each one prays earnestly, and then obeys, doing what God has laid upon their heart to do, then His purposes will prevail. He will give us discernment and intentionality with our decisions. I love it that He is that personal.

I can't help wishing I lived next door to you! I know we would be great friends.

Daniel's Mom said...

I love that passage of scripture also! When I was 20 I had a bad wreck and I found a small pin (you put on your shirt) in my console with Psalm 90:11 on it. I just knew the Lord was watching out for me! Thank you for your post!

We trick or treated when we were younger,but by age 15 we didn't. My parents wish now we never did. We won't be celebrating Halloween as a family. Our church does something at the church as an alternative.

Patti said...

How interesting that you should post Psalm 91 today. Although not common with me, I had a nightmare last night and woke up quite frightened. After checking all the doors to be sure they were locked, I went back to bed, and this psalm came to mind. I went back to sleep with it in my heart.

God's Word certainly does comfort in the time of need, doesn't it?


He And Me + 3 said...

Again a very thought provoking post! Thank you so much! I am so glad that God gives His angels charge over me. I have seen them in action over my years as I was protected many times from harm. God is so good.

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

As a young child I was always easily frightened ~ and I can remember the 'appearance of anything evil' would have me closing my eyes tightly and whispering the name of Jesus.

When my brother lay in a coma and the doctors told us that he could not hear us I would lay my head on his bed and hold his hand and whisper the name of Jesus. I was so scared that he would have the image of the accident in his mind and I wanted him to hear the name of Jesus.

It is the ultimate comfort that we have in His name and when I am frightened or scared it is always His name I call.

Thank you for your post, sweet sis...as always, straight from your heart!

((hugs)) to you!

Patti said...

I already left you a comment on this post, but I'm back because I wanted to invite you, if you have time, to stop by my blog. I posted today about my favorite teacup---a magnolia. Given you are a magnolia girl too, I thought you might enjoy the story behind this teacup.


Denise said...

Such a great post my friend.

Ava Semerau said...

Laurie Ann - thanks for several things in this post - as always for the great background and context of the verse(s), and the reminder that God's protection is always available to us. Thanks also, however, for the lack of judgement in your comments about Halloween. I'm probably in a minority here, but can't help but think that Halloween is what we make of it. If we expect evil, that's what we'll see. If, on the other hand - and as it appears you have chosen to do - we see it as a time when families can get together and rejoice in one another, then so it becomes. Frankly, there are a lot worse things than playing dress up and meeting the neighbors!

Anyway, long enough! Thanks again for a great post.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I so appreciated your Hebrew words for "keep". That was great! :) I am thankful you are following God where He wants to lead you, and as Believers He will have us follow different paths - each going the right way to Him. THANK YOU for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words on the Psalm verses. I also like your verse, Abstain from all appearance of evil. We don't celebrate Halloween either, never have, of course, its not a big deal over here, so we've never had a problem with not doing it. I hope you have peace in your decision.