The Lord shall preserve you
(Ps 121:7, 8)
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?" "The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore."
This Psalm is called the Psalm of
As the word (The Lord shall preserve you) is
mentioned several times in it.
It is also one of the (Songs of Ascents) which are
prayed during ascending the mountain reaching the
This Psalm could also be prayed on some
For biding someone farewell, blessing, a mother
when her son is outside home, she could tell him: The
Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall
preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your
going out and your coming in…
These words could be said to a person who is
traveling… as naturally he cannot know what would
happen outside his home. Unforeseen circumstances
might occur, so then he could find spiritual help in the
words of this Psalm, God will preserve him from all
evil, God will preserve his going out and his coming
The Psalm means that God is the One who
preserves, he is the helpmeet.
Probably these words are prayed not from
humans or from some beloved persons, but by the
Angels for giving hope and support, saying to the
worshipper: The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve
your going out and your coming in, which means that
He is with you; don't be afraid…
This Psalm reminds me with the first Psalm
in the third hour prayer "May the Lord answer
you in the day of trouble; May the name of the
God of Jacob defend you" (Ps20:1).
It is also a Psalm of prayer and blessing, it was
said in the past to the King on his way to war. But it
could, as well, be said for anyone at anytime.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil:
Preserve you from the evil persons, from
conspiracies prepared against you. Preserve you from
the devils, from their deceptions, from those who help
the devils and from any accusations fabricated
God preserves you in your land of immigration.
God preserves you from illness, contagious
diseases and from pain.
God preserves you from road crashes, from any
accident of any kind.
God preserves you from troubles and from
God preserves you from doubts, from falling
away, departing from the living God and preserves
you from perdition.
And if you do well, God preserves you from pride
and arrogance, show-off; vain-glory. God preserves
you from sin in general.
God shall preserve your soul:
Soul is different from body, soul is more
important than body is. That is why the Psalm says:
The Lord shall preserve you. He shall preserve your
soul. This means that God preserves your mind and
also your spirit. He preserves your life and your faith.
God permitted Satan to attack Job's health,
from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. God
told Satan" but spare his life"(Jb2:6). This means not
to harm his soul by any means. Job had a tiresome
and painful disease. But his soul was preserved within
the Hands of God till the time came when this trial
Also Paul the Apostle: God permitted Satan to
attack him when he was given a thorn in the flesh.
But still, God's grace remained with him. God told him
"My grace is sufficient for you" (2Cor12:9). God
preserved his soul: the body was aching of disease,
but his soul was preserved. Moreover, it was said
about Job that "so that even handkerchiefs or aprons
were brought from his body to the sick, and the
diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of
them." (Acts19:12)- All this happened despite pf the
Thorn in the Flesh which he was given!
Jacob the father of all fathers: after he had
struggled with God and had prevailed, God changed
his name, blessed him there and He touched the
socket of his hip so he "limped on his hip" (Gn32:31),
most probably he suffered from his Sciatic Nerve
which is the nerve existing almost at the end of the
vertebral column, it extends to the lower limb…with
all the pain, he was blessed, the Angel of God
followed him through his life and redeemed him from
all evil (Gn48:16). God also rescued him from Esau
The phrase God shall preserve your soul,
implies also for the Martyrs and confessors: their
bodies ached so much of many diseases: whipping,
dragging along on the ground, cutting off their
organs…but their souls were very strong. In all
their pain and throughout the stages of their
martyrdom, Angels were whispering in the ear of
each one of them saying: The Lord shall preserve you
from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
A saint might have his hands and legs cut off, and
still his soul is safely spared.
St. Samuel the Confessor, one of his eyes was
torn, but his soul remained strong with the Lord. The
most importantly is the soul and how safe it is.
David for example, he faced many persecutions
by King Saul; he lived chastened by him from one
wilderness to another. But God preserved his soul. He
said to King Saul "as your life was valued much this
day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the
eyes of the Lord, and let Him deliver me out of all
tribulation." (1Sm26:24). God preserved David's soul,
till He finally gave him to become a king.
Fathers of the wilderness like St. Anthony the
Great. This Saint faced so many wars from the Devils,
with plagues and frightful sounds. But God preserved
his soul so the soul wasn't shaken and was never
confused. On the contrary, St. Anthony's soul was
And so were the Hermits and the Anchorites, they
lived in the wilderness among beasts and creeping
creatures. But their souls were strong.
God may permit trials to take place; but He
preserves man from those trials or preserves
him from its consequences. God doesn't prevent
trials from happening, but He preserves man from all
evil throughout the trial.
Paul the Apostle: he suffered from so many
tribulations, but all through the way, God preserved
his soul. Angles were singing to him: the Lord shall
preserve your soul…
He says about himself and his persecuted
colleagues "persecuted, but not forsaken; struck
down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the
body the dying of the Lord Jesus" (2Cor4:9,10), he
also says " For we who live are always delivered to
death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may
be manifested in our mortal flesh (2Cor4:11) " as
unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold
we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making
many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all
things.." (2Cor6:9, 10).
Heroes in Faith: as St. Athanasius, who was
exiled from his Seat four times, was forced to leave
his country, accusations were brought against him.
Despite all this, his soul was strong within the hands
of God, and was not harmed at all.
St Sawerus Al Antachy: he was exiled away of
his throne four times. He came and lived here in
Alexandria. God preserved his soul and he remained a
hero of Faith.
The second point which I want to talk about is the
verse of the Psalm which says:
The Lord shall preserve your going out and
your coming in:
It is a phrase which can interfere in our daily life
When you're going out, God preserves your going
out. Then when you return home, God preserves your
coming in. it is such a nice thing that when you're
going out to work, Angels then whisper in your ears
singing: The Lord shall preserve your going out and
your coming in. and when you enter your work place
they say to you: The Lord shall preserve your going
out and your coming in. and so in every place where
you enter and leave…
It happens also when you tackle some
issues: you start talking in a certain subject, the
Psalm then tells you "The Lord shall preserve your
going out and your coming in", which means that you
will come out with good result of the conversation or
of the discussion…
When you're going to an interview or test for
instance, they will decide if you're good enough or
not, hence you hear the same phrase: The Lord shall
preserve your going out and your coming in. God
preserves your coming in, fearless and with no
confusion, He also preserves your going out relieved
with peace in your heart.
You might be checking in a hospital, some
visitors of yours come and tell you: The Lord shall
preserve your going out and your coming in. God
preserves your going in to the medical examination
and to other medical checkups, and also preserves
your going out of them all.
In a surgical operation, you go to the operation
theater with them telling you: The Lord shall preserve
your going in to the theater and your coming out of it.
When you are entering a courtroom for a law
case. The verse of the Psalm then also follows you:
The Lord shall preserve your going to the courtroom
and your coming out of it.
All this reminds me of the blessed words of
Deuteronomy book (Dt28:2-6) for those who
obey God and fulfill his commandments:
"And all these blessings shall come upon you and
overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord
your God: "Blessed shall you be in the city, and
blessed shall you be in the country." Blessed shall be
the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground
and the increase of your herds, the increase of your
cattle and the offspring of your flocks. "Blessed shall
be your basket and your kneading bowl. "Blessed
shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you
be when you go out."
The Lord shall preserve your going out and
your coming in, even in death and life:
The soul gets out of a human's body, and goes to
the waiting place. It holds the verse: "The Lord shall
preserve your going out and your coming in"…going
out of the body, and coming in to Paradise. In the
Day of Resurrection, you hear the same phrase: The
Lord shall preserve your going out of Paradise, and
your coming in to the body once more…
It is a phrase which is said to the spirit on going
out of this life on earth, entering the eternal life.
This same phrase was said to Prophet Jonah on
entering in the belly of the great fish, and on his
coming out of it. God preserved his going in, so the
great fish didn't harm him but on the contrary it
preserved his life. God also preserved Jonah's coming
out of its belly safely so that he could perform his
The same phrase also was employed with the
three Lads in the furnace: The Lord shall preserve
your going out and your coming in. God preserved
their going in so the burning fire of the furnace didn't
harm them. It didn't burn them or burnt even their
clothes. They were walking inside the fire in peace, till
God preserved their going out of it alive, with each of
them hearing the verse of the Psalm: The Lord shall
preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your
soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your
The same happened with Daniel the Prophet,
when he was cast into the den of lions. God preserved
his going in, so the lions didn't attack or devour him,
on the contrary Daniel was singing " My God sent His
angel and shut the lions' mouths" (Dn6:22). And so,
God preserved him on his coming out safely from the
Noah, the father of all fathers, when he was
going into the ark, Angels were saying to him: The
Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming
in. that is how he went in and lived inside the ark
among the beasts till the great flood was over, this
flood which prevailed exceedingly till waters covered
the mountains. The ark moved about on the surface
of the waters with Noah and his family preserved
Then the phrase came which says "shall preserve
your going out", when Noah sent a dove which came
to him in the evening, and a freshly plucked olive leaf
was in her mouth (Gn8:11). Then the ark started to
settle down till it anchored on Ararat Mountain.
Hence, God told Noah to get out of the ark with his
family. He went out and God preserved him in his
Lazarus of Damascus: on his going out from his
master Abraham's house for the sake of choosing a
wife for Isaac, he didn't know where he was heading
to. This verse had accompanied him before David the
Prophet even uttered it: The Lord shall preserve your
going out and your coming in. Indeed, God preserved
his going out of his country, and also preserved his
coming in-without acknowledging that- to the place
where his relatives lived. God also preserved his
meeting with Rebecca, and her approval on marrying
Isaac. And when they tried to kindly have him as a
guest for few more days, he said " Do not hinder me,
since the Lord has prospered my way (Gn: 24:56).
And how did God prospered your way? He preserved
his going out and his coming in.
That is what had happened as well with Jacob
the son of Isaac, when God told him" Do not hinder
me, since the Lord has prospered my way
"(Gn28:15). Indeed, God preserved him in his going
out from his father's house, and in his coming in to
his uncle Laban's house. God preserved him as well in
his going out once more from Laban's house and in
his coming in to Bethel…
The same goes with the story of the people
crossing the Red Sea (Ex14), God preserved them
in their going in to the sea, so its waves didn't scatter
them apart. On the contrary it was like a fence
around them from sides, right and left. At the end,
God preserved their going out of the sea to the
wilderness of Sinai.
The phrase "The Lord shall preserve your
going out and your coming in" is being said on
A person traveling by plane, he hears about
many plane crashes…and is frightened of what could
happen. Hence he listens to the sayings of the Psalm
"The Lord shall preserve your going out and your
coming in"… he goes in the plane with peace in his
heart, and goes out of it when it lands with a
Moreover, the Astronauts who had gone into a
spaceship and headed to the Moon and Mars. Their
family who say to each of them "The Lord shall
preserve your going out and your coming in".
The Astronaut flies with his spaceship, he goes
out of the atmosphere reaching Moon or Mars while
they say him: The Lord shall preserve your going out.
He finishes his job there and goes into the spaceship
returning to earth, and they tell him: the Lord shall
preserve your coming in to your spaceship, and your
coming in back to your home.
Also the missionaries during the old days who
were sometimes preaching in Man-Eater Lands, each
one of those preachers-during his travel- they say to
him: the Lord shall preserve your going out of your
country and preserve your coming in , and preserve
as well your going out safely of those lands. You go in
there safely, and you safely come out.
Some of them they travel to regions like Africa for
example, with all its chronic diseases and epidemics
of which Aids, Malaria and other kinds of viruses are
likely to be there. We send each one of those there
and say to him: the Lord shall preserve your going
out and your coming in. He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil.
God preserves you also in the awesome Day
When you stand at the pillar of the Just Judge:
how would you go in to that day? And how would you
come out of it? God preserves you…
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