Often, a variety of overused words become quite common, causing them to lose depth and rich meaning. Take for instance ‘kept’. It’s believed we get the word ‘kept’ from an ascended overlook building during the European Middle Ages. Fourteenth century scholars considered ‘the keep’ a necessary stronghold used in wartime strategy. They were fortified hidden residences with a secret compartment. Stalwartly erected, the keeps served as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary. Many keeps of that era were accompanied by extremely high and tower-like structures added for extra protection. Therefore, it’s assumed our English word ‘keep’ means to hold securely or safeguarding people at all costs.
A most wonderful example of being kept appears in John 17. We notice Jesus prayed intensely for His disciples and He asked the Father that they might be kept from the evil (one) in the world. Finally, He said, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you” (John 17:20-21 NLT.) Here we see, dear friend, as believers we are one with our Father and shielded from every enemy attack.
Back in the days of the apostles, Christ followers were constantly and heavily bombarded with all kinds of persecution: beaten, slandered, assaulted, sawn in two, stoned, destitute, afflicted, tormented, mocked, scourged, chained, locked up, and slain with the sword of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11:36-38). That’s why Peter’s first epistle instructed believers to rejoice even in times of great tribulation because of Jesus Christ, the living hope within them. Furthermore, Peter reminded the scattered elect that their Savior had risen from the dead and protected them by the power of God “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection…to an inheritance incorruptible…that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV). Now, as we travel this arduous but victorious path of love, we rest assured we’re safe in His keeping with great certainty shown in Psalm 121.
“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip or to 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 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”.