God is Faithful to Keep us from the Evil One
“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”
Keep them from the evil one
Christians have the confidence of knowing that God will keep them. We have Jesus’ prayer for assurance–the prayer of a righteous man has great power as it is working–and we also have the promise that God will answer His prayer.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:3; “The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”
- 1 John 5:18; “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.”
- Psalms 121:1-8; “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He owns His sheep, He keeps His sheep, He protects them.
- John 10:8-15; “All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
A hired hand flees
If a hired hand watched over Jesus’ sheep, he would surely flee at the first glimpse of danger. Why? Because, Jesus says, he doesn’t own the sheep–he doesn’t care for them. In contrast, Jesus purchased us with His own blood and, consequently, cares for us more deeply than we could ever imagine. He will never flee, He will never run, He will always protect us.
His sheep may go through difficult times. We aren’t excluded from trials and troubles. And though we have the promise of God’s protection, we have seen how he allowed Satan to test Job. But let us be comforted that He will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to endure.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13; “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
God is faithful. He will establish us and guard us against the evil one and He will never allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to endure. Nevertheless, will not put our trust in our strength. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1, “We do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
When it seems God has left us (He hasn’t), when it seems tribulation is greater than we can endure (it will never be), let us follow Paul’s example and rely, not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.